Barriers to disclosure of disease in HIV-infected women: a qualitative study
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Submission date: 2017-10-19
Final revision date: 2017-10-22
Acceptance date: 2017-10-31
Publication date: 2018-01-22
HIV & AIDS Review 2018;17(1):12-17
Disclosure of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status reduces high-risk behaviors. Also, non-disclosure of HIV status plays the most important role in the spread of disease and the occurrence of new cases. Given the increasing prevalence of HIV among women and the increase in the transmission of disease through sexual relationships, HIV-positive women are the most vulnerable group in society who are exposed to high-risk sexual behaviors. Therefore we conducted a qualitative study on non-disclosure experiences in Iranian women.

Material and methods:
This qualitative study was conducted in 2015. Fifteen HIV-infected women who referred to Imam Khomeini Hospital Consultation Center for clients with risky behavior participated in this study. The data were collected through a semi-structured interview. Data were analyzed by conventional content analysis.

Disclosure of HIV status was classified based on the experiences of the participants in two main categories: fear of rejection and community construction of HIV. Fear of rejection has two sub-categories: 1) rejection by partner, 2) rejection by family. The community construction of HIV has three sub-categories: 1) discrimination in society, 2) social stigma, and 3) traditional environment for health services.

The results of this study showed that women with HIV have a lot of problems in disclosing their disease status. Therefore, interventions for acceptance of HIV patients by their relatives and the provision of counseling services by health care providers are essential for the disclosure of HIV status by infected people.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Ministry of Health and Medical Education (Iran). Upublished AIDS data, 2017.
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