High rates and positive outcomes of HIV-serostatus disclosure to sexual partners: reasons for cautious optimism from a voluntary counseling and testing clinic in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

AIDS Behav. 2003 Dec;7(4):373-82. doi: 10.1023/b:aibe.0000004729.89102.d4.


The rates, barriers, and outcomes of HIV serostatus disclosure to sexual partners are described for 245 female voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) clients in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. VCT clients were surveyed 3 months after HIV testing to describe their HIV-serostatus disclosure experiences. Sixty-four percent of HIV-positive women and 79.5% of HIV-negative women (p = 0.028) reported that they had shared HIV test results with their partners. Among women who did not disclose, 52% reported the reason as fear of their partner's reaction. Both 81.9% of HIV-negative women and 48.9% of HIV-positive women reported that their partner reacted supportively to disclosure (p < 0.001). Less than 5% of women reported any negative reactions following disclosure. VCT should continue to be widely promoted. However, intervention approaches such as development of screening tools and new counseling approaches are important to ensure the safety of women who want to safely disclose HIV serostatus to their sexual partners.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / supply & distribution
  • Counseling*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Seropositivity / diagnosis*
  • HIV Seropositivity / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Safe Sex
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Social Support
  • Tanzania / epidemiology
  • Truth Disclosure*