Mwamba RN, Sao SS, Knettel BA, Minja LM, Osaki H, Mmbaga BT, Watt MH. The Disclosure Dilemma: Willingness to Disclose a Positive HIV Status Among Individuals Preparing for HIV Testing During Antenatal Care in Tanzania. AIDS and behavior. 2020 Oct 3. PMID: 33011883 [PubMed]
HIV status disclosure can reduce transmission risks and improve care engagement. Individuals may have strong feelings about HIV disclosure even prior to diagnosis. We assessed willingness to disclose a positive HIV status among pregnant women and their male partners awaiting routine HIV testing during antenatal care in Tanzania (n = 939). Logistic regression models were used to examine factors associated with willingness to disclose to one's inner circle (partner/family member) and outer circle (friend/neighbor) in the event of an HIV diagnosis. Almost all (93%) were willing to disclose to at least one person; participants were more willing to disclose to their inner circle (91%) vs outer circle (52%). Individuals with some form of employment, more stigmatizing attitudes of social distancing of PLWH, greater anticipated HIV stigma, more perceived social support, and prior contact with someone living with HIV were more likely to disclose to their inner circles. Individuals who were older, male, and who had higher levels of perceived social support were more willing to disclose to their outer circle. These findings increase the understanding of the intra- and interpersonal factors that influence HIV disclosure decisions. Tailored pre- and post- HIV test counseling are needed to facilitate social support and overcome barriers to disclosure if they test positive for HIV.