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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311X

Abstract

MAKSUD, Ivia. Secrets and silences: unspoken aspects of conjugal life for HIV/AIDS serodiscordant couples. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2012, vol.28, n.6, pp. 1196-1204. ISSN 0102-311X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2012000600018.

One of the current issues raised by HIV/AIDS is the phenomenon of serodiscordance: affective-sexual relations between partners with different HIV serology. The article analyzes issues that cannot be discussed within established relationships in these couples and/or with family, friends, and neighborhood networks. The article discusses two dimensions of silences and secrets in serodiscordant relationships: (1) individual secrets and silences that are established for each member of the couple and (2) double secrets, established by the couple in relation to others. The article is based on in-depth interviews with 26 serodiscordant couples. The analysis was based on comparative systematization, which allowed observing how the same thematic contents varied according to the interviewee's gender and HIV status. The data show how the subjects develop daily strategies to maintain aspects of private life that can be threatened by the dynamics of gossip, understood not as an independent phenomenon, but as a function of collective norms and beliefs in given social spaces.

Keywords : HIV Seropositivity; Marriage; Sexuality.

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