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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 60

Issues surrounding HIV status disclosure: Experiences of seropositive women in Lagos, Nigeria

Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, PMB 12003, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Ifeoma P Okafor
Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, PMB 12003, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_136_15

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Background: Disclosure of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seropositivity by infected women is crucial in HIV control. To determine the rates, patterns, effects, and determinants of disclosure of status among HIV-positive women in Lagos, Nigeria. Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study. Simple random sampling method was used to select 364 HIV-positive women accessing care in HIV treatment centers in Lagos Island. Data were collected using interviewer-administered questionnaires and analyzed with Epi Info (version 3.5.3). Inferential statistics done was Chi-square test and level of statistical significance was set at <5%. Results: Mean age of respondents was 37.3 ± 3 years, and most were married or cohabiting in monogamous families. The disclosure rates were 81.9% to anyone (excluding a health care professional); 60.4% to spouse/sexual partners; and 67.7% disclosed on the same day of diagnosis. Main reasons for disclosure were failing health (49.3%) and a sense of responsibility to the spouse/sexual partner (33.6%). Major reasons for nondisclosure were negative public opinion (84.8%) and fear of losing relationships (40.3%). Positive reactions following disclosure were mostly acceptance: 75.2% (family member) and 72.3% (spouse/sexual partner) while blame was the main negative outcome. Longer duration of diagnosis significantly improved disclosure to anyone (P < 0.001). Older age (P < 0.001) and awareness of spouse/sexual partner's HIV status (P < 0.001) significantly improved disclosure to spouse/sexual partner. Conclusions: Many respondents had not disclosed their status and require support and counseling to do so. Community education regarding stigmatization should be intensified.

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