Table of Contents
ISRN Infectious Diseases
Volume 2014, Article ID 684864, 10 pages
Research Article

Communication and the Decision Making Process among Couples with HIV/AIDS in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Department of Development Studies, Lupane State University, 44 H. Chitepo Street, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Received 12 December 2013; Accepted 13 February 2014; Published 17 March 2014

Academic Editors: K. Falasca, V. C. Marconi, D. Nardelli, F. Uribe-Salas, and P. Weatherburn

Copyright © 2014 V. Ndlovu. 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.


The study explores how HIV-positive couples negotiate and make reproductive and sexually related decisions. The broader aim of the paper is to understand how men and women with HIV make decisions about contraception and reproduction and what those decisions indicate about the realities of HIV-positive relationships. In line with the study’s aim to explore meanings related to the decision making process, a qualitative research approach was adopted. In-depth interviews were conducted with 15 couples in which at least one of them was HIV-positive. A critical interpretive analysis of the data was adopted in order to gain insight into decision making among the HIV-positive couples. The results indicate that decisions made were usually a result of negotiation and compromise between partners. However, women’s fertility and sexual preferences were found to be a major factor in determining the outcome of the decision making process. Couples who intended to have a child were found to be active decision makers while those who only desired or did not desire to have a child were mainly passive decision makers. The study concludes that women exercise significant power over contraceptive and reproductive decisions among both active and passive decision makers.