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

Ndayala Phoebe, Ondigi Alice N., Ngige L


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.

KeyWords: HIV self-disclosure, Support Groups, Seropositive adults

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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