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Revista Costarricense de Psicología

On-line version ISSN 1659-2913Print version ISSN 0257-1439


CHONG-VILLARREAL, Francisco  and  TORRES-LOPEZ, Teresa Margarita. Heterosexual HIV-Discordant Couples in Chiapas, Mexico. The Influence of Gender in Agency Expression. Rev. Costarric. Psic [online]. 2019, vol.38, n.1, pp.37-56. ISSN 1659-2913.

Heterosexual men and women with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) face personal challenges (e.g. fear of infecting others and rejection) and social ones (real rejection). For a person with HIV (VP), these are obstacles in the development of their life, especially if forming a couple, where the other person does not have the virus. Based on the assumption that people do not lack the power to confront and occasionally transform social structures, this study was carried out in order to explore and compare the strategies followed by two men and two women with HIV, in forming couples, with people who did not have it (HIV-discordant couple). The results highlight differences in strategies.Although the two women experienced their sexuality with men without HIV, to do so, they hid their diagnosis from their prospective partners. They had more difficulties than the two men, in their eagerness to maintain a stable couple relationship. In addition, they were exposed to risks of unwanted pregnancy and violence, for hiding the diagnosis.The men resorted to falling in love, to sustain a relationship, where the corresponding partner knew their diagnosis, from information that the men themselves gave them. The results highlight that there is inequity in the availability of schemes and resources, between men and women. Faced with the challenge of forming a couple and living their sexuality after the diagnosis, inequities are reflected in more difficulties and risks for women.

Keywords : HIV/AIDS; Gender; Stigma; Agency; HIV-Discordant Couples.

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