Relationship Agreements and Willingness to Participate in Couples HIV Testing and Counseling Among Heterosexuals in the U.S.

Jeb S Jones*, 1, Rob Stephenson 2, Kristin M Wall 1, Patrick S Sullivan 1
1 Department of Epidemiology, Emory University, USA
2 Department of Global Health, Emory University, USA

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© Jones et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Epidemiology, Emory University, 1518 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA; Tel: 404-727-2773; Fax: 404-727-8737; E-mail:


Couples HIV testing and counseling (CHTC) has been used for more than 20 years in African settings and more recently among men who have sex with men in the United States, but little is known about willingness of heterosexuals in the U.S. to use CHTC. We conducted an online survey of heterosexuals in sexual relationships to assess willingness to use CHTC and willingness to discuss relationship agreements within a couples counseling session. We found moderate levels of willingness to use CHTC and somewhat higher levels of willingness to discuss relationship agreements in a couples counseling session. The most frequently cited reason people were not willing was that they did not perceive themselves or their partners to be at risk for HIV. These results will be useful in planning for CHTC implementation for heterosexuals in the U.S.

Keywords: Heterosexual couples, HIV, HIV testing, relationship agreements..