Archives of sexual behavior 2017 01 20() doi 10.1007/s10508-016-0930-0
Extramarital partnerships exacerbate high HIV prevalence rates in many communities in sub-Saharan Africa. We explored contextual risk factors and suggested interventions to reduce extramarital partnerships among couples in the fishing communities on Lake Victoria, Kenya. We conducted 12 focus group discussions with 9-10 participants each (N = 118) and 16 in-depth interviews (N = 16) with fishermen and their spouses. Couples who participated were consented and separated for simultaneous gender-matched discussions/interviews. Interview topics included courtship and marriage, relationship and sexual satisfaction, extramarital relationships and how to intervene on HIV risks. Coding, analysis, and interpretation of the transcripts followed grounded theory tenets that allow analytical themes to emerge from the participants. Our results showed that extramarital partnerships were perceived to be widespread and were attributed to factors related to sexual satisfaction such as women needing more foreplay before intercourse, discrepancies in sexual desire, and boredom with the current sexual repertoire. Participants also reported that financial and sociophysical factors such as family financial support and physical separation, contributed to the formation of extramarital partnerships. Participants made suggestions for interventions that reduce extramarital partnerships to minimize HIV risks at the community, couple, and individual level. These suggestions emphasized improving community education, spousal communication, and self-evaluation for positive behavior change. Future studies can draw upon these findings as a basis for designing community-owned interventions that seek to reduce community-level HIV risk through a reduction in the number of sexual partners.