Lukewarm response to HIV discordance study

Botswana's 'Netefatso' study, which monitors HIV transmission among couples in so-called 'sero-discordant' relationships (where one partner is HIV-positive), has received a disappointing enrolment.

According to Rupert Hambira, of the Botswana-Harvard Partnership for HIV Research and Education, a total of just 1,026 couples in seven participating countries, including South Africa and Zambia, came forward during the past year.

"We are not having as good a response as we ought to and we are still looking for more people ... We are encouraging men to know their status," he told the local Reporter newspaper.

Hambira attributed the low level of participation to fear of disclosure, noting this as one of the study's main challenges since its inception in March 2005.