Disclosure of HIV Status to Sex Partners and Sexual Risk Behaviors Among HIV-Positive Men and Women, Cape Town, South Africa
March 21, 2007
"The HIV epidemic continues to amplify in southern Africa and there is a growing need for HIV prevention interventions among people who have tested HIV-positive," the authors wrote in introducing the current study. Anonymous surveys were completed by HIV-positive men (413) and women (641) sampled from HIV/AIDS services. Most participants were less than 35 years old (73 percent), black African (70 percent), unemployed (70 percent), and unmarried (75 percent). Fifty percent of participants were taking antiretroviral drugs.
Eighty-five percent (903) of subjects reported currently being sexually active. Of these, 378 (42 percent) said they had had sex in the previous three months with a person to whom they had not disclosed their HIV status. Those who did not disclose their status were considerably more likely to have multiple partners, partners who were HIV-negative, partners whose HIV status was unknown, and unprotected intercourse with serodiscordant partners. The researchers found an association between not disclosing HIV status and having lost a job or a place to stay because of being HIV-positive and feeling less able to disclose to partners.
The authors concluded: "HIV-related stigma and discrimination are associated with not disclosing HIV status to sex partners, and non-disclosure is closely associated with HIV transmission risk behaviors. Interventions are needed in South Africa to reduce the AIDS stigma and discrimination and to assist people with HIV to make effective decisions on disclosure."
Sexually Transmitted Infections
02.07; Vol. 83; P. 29-34; L.C. Simbayi; S.C. Kalichman; A. Strebel; A. Cloete; N. Henda; A. Mqeketo
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.