Pregnancy and Safe Sex in Zimbabwe and South Africa

September 18, 2016 | Press Releases & Announcements

Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Heidi Jones co-authors study examining, “Sexual risk and Intravaginal Practice Behavior Changes During Pregnancy.”

This analysis, which Dr. Jones co-authored with colleagues at Columbia University, examined changes in self-reported sexual behaviors and intravaginal practices during pregnancy in order to understand pregnancy’s impact on important factors associated with STI acquisition. Perhaps not surprisingly, the investigators found that pregnancy tended to lead to decreased vaginal sex, particularly in the third trimester, and decreased anal sex, concurrent sexual partnerships, new sex partners and intravaginal wiping. On the other hand they also observed that self-reports on vaginal sex without condoms was more frequent during pregnancy. Dr. Jones notes, ”The study is one of the first that looked at changes in behavior using a crossover design (that is comparing reports from women during non-pregnant months with reports from those same women during pregnancy). This study adds to the efforts to disentangle understanding increased risk of STI/HIV acquisition during pregnancy caused by biological factors, such as changes to immune system function, and those caused by behavioral factors.”


Teasdale CA, Abrams EJ, Chiasson MA, Justman J, Blanchard K, Jones HE. Sexual Risk and Intravaginal Practice Behavior Changes During Pregnancy. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 2016 Sep 6. [Epub ahead of print]