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AIDS Research and Treatment
Volume 2013, Article ID 235902, 11 pages
Research Article

Sources of Information on HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health for Couples Living with HIV in Rural Southern Malawi

1Department of Community Medicine, Institute of Health and Society, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1130, Blindern, 0318 Oslo, Norway
2Faculty of Nursing, Kamuzu College of Nursing, University of Malawi, Blantyre Campus, P.O. Box 415, Blantyre, Malawi
3Faculty of Nursing, Kamuzu College of Nursing, University of Malawi, Lilongwe Campus, Private Bag 1, Lilongwe, Malawi

Received 5 September 2012; Revised 13 March 2013; Accepted 27 March 2013

Academic Editor: D. A. Katzenstein

Copyright © 2013 Belinda Chimphamba Gombachika et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


With wider access to antiretroviral therapy, people living with HIV are reconsidering their reproductive decisions: remarrying and having children. The purpose of the paper is to explore sources of information for reproductive decision used by couples living with HIV in patrilineal and matrilineal districts of Malawi. Data were collected from forty couples from July to December 2010. Our results illuminate five specific issues: some of the informants (1) remarry after divorce/death of a spouse, (2) establish new marriage relationship with spouses living with HIV, and (3) have children hence the need for information to base their decisions. There are (4) shared and interactive couple decisions, and (5) informal networks of people living with HIV are the main sources of information. In addition, in matrilineal community, cultural practices about remarriage set up structures that constrained information availability unlike in patrilineal community where information on sexual and reproductive health, HIV, and AIDS was disseminated during remarriage counselling. However, both sources are not able to provide comprehensive information due to complexity and lack of up to date information. Therefore, health workers should, offer people living with HIV comprehensive information that takes into consideration the cultural specificity of groups, and empower already existing and accepted local structures with sexual and reproductive health, HIV, and AIDS knowledge.