Negotiated safety – components, context and use: An integrative literature review


AIM: The aim of this study was to examine the components and use of negotiated safety in the context of HIV prevention and to identify reported factors associated with the concept. BACKGROUND: There is an emerging interest in dyadic approaches to address HIV transmission. Although there are theoretical foundations for how interpersonal relationships influence individual behaviour, how these dyadic processes influence on health is still not wholly understood. DESIGN: Integrative review of empirical and theoretical literature. DATA SOURCES: The Cumulative Index for Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) MEDLINE and PsychINFO electronic databases were accessed. REVIEW METHODS: Articles were read to gain a historical context of the term and identify varying interpretations of the concept. Factors warranting consideration in association with NS were identified and clinical and public health implications were noted. RESULTS: Forty-eight studies were reviewed. Negotiated safety included the following components: (i) HIV sero-negative concordant men within a primary relationship; (ii) joint HIV screening and mutual disclosure of their HIV status; (iii) explicit relationship boundaries which establish either nonexclusively that allows for the dispensing of condoms within the primary relationship and consistent condom use for extra-dyadic sex; or dispensing of condoms within a primary partnership and exclusivity; and (iv) a breach clause that allows communication to re-establish the agreement if needed. CONCLUSION: Negotiated safety is a prescriptive approach to HIV risk reduction among couples. Researchers and practitioners could benefit from promoting this approach to HIV prevention.


Leblanc NM, Mitchell JW, De Santis JP




  • Population(s)
    • Men who have sex with men
    • General HIV+ population
    • General HIV- population
  • Prevention
    • Sexual risk behaviour


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