Predictors of HIV-1 Serostatus Disclosure: A Prospective Study Among HIV-infected Pregnant Women in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

AIDS. 2001 Sep 28;15(14):1865-74. doi: 10.1097/00002030-200109280-00017.


Objectives: To examine the socio-demographic and behavioral factors predictive of women's disclosure of an HIV-positive test result in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Design: From April 1995 to May 2000, 1078 HIV-positive pregnant women participated in an ongoing randomized trial on micronutrients and HIV-1 vertical transmission and progression. Disclosure to a partner or to a female relative was assessed 2 months after post-test counseling and at 6 monthly follow-up visits. Socio-demographic, health, behavioral and psychological factors were measured at baseline and during follow-up.

Methods: Predictors of time to disclosure of HIV serostatus were determined using Cox proportional hazards regression models.

Results: Prevalence of disclosure to a partner ranged from 22% within 2 months to 40% after nearly 4 years. Women were less likely to disclose to their partners if they were cohabiting, had low wage employment, had previously disclosed to a female relative, or reported ever-use of a modern contraceptive method. Women reporting fewer than six lifetime sexual partners or knowing someone with HIV/AIDS were more likely to disclose to their partners. Disclosure to a female relative was predicted by knowing more than two individuals with HIV/AIDS, full economic dependency on their partner, high levels of social support, and prior attendance at a support group meeting.

Conclusions: A substantial proportion of HIV-infected pregnant women never disclosed their result to a partner or a close female relative. Lack of disclosure may have limited their ability to engage in preventive behaviors or to obtain the necessary emotional support for coping with their serostatus or illness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Serodiagnosis*
  • Confidentiality*
  • Contact Tracing
  • Counseling
  • Disease Notification
  • Family
  • Female
  • HIV Seropositivity*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / virology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sexual Partners
  • Tanzania