Sex without disclosure of positive HIV serostatus in a US probability sample of persons receiving medical care for HIV infection

Am J Public Health. 2003 Jun;93(6):949-54. doi: 10.2105/ajph.93.6.949.


Objectives: We estimated the proportion of HIV-positive adults who have any sexual contact without disclosure and the proportion of their sexual partnerships that involve unprotected sex without disclosure.

Methods: We drew participants from the HIV Cost and Services Utilization Study (n = 1421). Interviews assessed disclosure and sexual activities with up to 5 recent partners.

Results: Overall, 42% of the gay or bisexual men, 19% of the heterosexual men, and 17% of all the women reported any sex without disclosure, predominately within nonexclusive partnerships (P <.001). Across all groups, 13% of serodiscordant partnerships involved unprotected anal or vaginal sex without disclosure, with no significant difference between groups.

Conclusions: Risky sex without disclosure of serostatus is not uncommon among people with HIV.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavioral Research
  • Contact Tracing
  • Female
  • HIV Seropositivity / psychology*
  • HIV Seropositivity / therapy
  • HIV Seropositivity / transmission
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Probability
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Safe Sex / psychology*
  • Safe Sex / statistics & numerical data
  • Sampling Studies
  • Sexual Partners / classification
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*
  • Sexuality / classification*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Truth Disclosure*
  • United States