Disclosure of HIV status among patients new to HIV care in Southern Ethiopia: role of perceived social support and other factors

Alan R. Lifson, Sale Workneh, Abera Hailemichael, Richard F. MacLehose, Keith J Horvath, Rose Hilk, Anne Sites, Tibebe Shenie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Reports from Sub-Saharan Africa, with a large HIV-infected population, vary widely in how often HIV status is disclosed to others, including spouses and other partners. We surveyed 1799 Ethiopian HIV patients newly enrolled in care within the previous 3 months at one of 32 local hospitals and health centers about disclosure of HIV status and two perceived social support domains: emotional/informational (EI) and tangible assistance (TA) support. Disclosure to another person was reported by 1389 (77%) persons. Disclosure rates to specific persons were: spouses or other partners = 74%; mothers = 24%; fathers = 16%; children = 26%; other family members = 37%; friends = 19%, and neighbors/other community members = 13%. Disclosure to another person was associated with higher social support scores on both EI and TA domains, marriage, and a longer time knowing HIV status. In multivariate adjusted models, disclosure to any person, as well as disclosure specifically to a spouse or partner, were associated with higher EI and higher TA social support scores. Provision of knowledgeable and emotionally supportive assistance can be an important factor in facilitating HIV disclosure. Helping persons with HIV decide who to disclose to and how to do so in the most positive manner is an essential component of HIV care and support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Ethiopia
  • HIV disclosure
  • social support
  • sub-Saharan Africa

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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