Nature and Extent of HIV Self Disclosure by Seropositive Adults in HIV Support Groups in Nairobi County, Kenya

Type Journal Article - Research on Humanities and Social Sciences
Title Nature and Extent of HIV Self Disclosure by Seropositive Adults in HIV Support Groups in Nairobi County, Kenya
Volume 5
Issue 16
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 87-96
New treatment regimens in HIV management have led to the rapid growth in the numbers of People living with
HIV (PLWHIV). Disclosure rates among this group remains low which limits their ability to access necessary
support resulting in early progression to death and increased risk of infection and low uptake of protection
among sexual partners. Understanding the predictors of sero-positive disclosure to sexual partners can be a step
toward devising targeted strategies aimed at promoting HIV testing and disclosure thus enhancing HIV
prevention and risk reduction efforts. This study was a descriptive survey involving 232 PLWHIV drawn from
HIV support groups in the area selected through non-proportionate systematic random sampling. Multiple
logistic regression and Chi-square tests were used to establish the predictors and relationships of self disclosure
of seropositive status by PLWHIV to sexual partners. Data was collected using interviewer administered
questionnaires, key informant interviews and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs). Quantitative data was analyzed
generating descriptive and inferential statistics. Qualitative data was analyzed using content analysis with the use
of verbatim quotes to highlight the respondents’ voices. Study results showed that the general HIV disclosure
rates were high (92.2%), but only 50.5% had disclosed to a sexual partner. Consistent disclosure to all sexual
partners was low (29%) and this was mainly involved regular partners. Generally, PLWHIV had a positive
perception of HIV self disclosure. Results point to high levels of anticipated stigma and discrimination from all
support structures by PLWHIV. However, only 48% of PLWHIV recorded high levels of enacted stigma and
discrimination. It was concluded that PLWHIV anticipated high levels of enacted stigma and discrimination
from their social networks after disclosure. This acted as a barrier to HIV self disclosure. However, these fears
did not translate into high levels of actual enacted stigma and discrimination. The study recommended that
initiating income generating activities for the PLWHIV, consistent training and counseling on the management
of self stigma and promotion of strategies of living positively with the disease can promote effective self
disclosure of sero-positive status to sexual partners.

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