Differential disclosure across social network ties among women living with HIV

AIDS Behav. 2009 Dec;13(6):1253-61. doi: 10.1007/s10461-009-9554-x. Epub 2009 Apr 9.


Women's disclosure of their HIV serostatus across social network ties was examined in a sample of women living in Los Angeles (n = 234), using multivariate random intercept logistic regressions. Women with disclosure-averse attitudes were less likely to disclose, while women with higher CD4+ counts were significantly more likely to disclose, regardless of relationship type. Relative to all other types of relationships, spouses/romantic partners were greater than four times more likely to be the targets of disclosure. Women were more than 2.5 times more likely to disclose to a given network member if that target provided the woman with social support. Social network members whom women believed to be HIV-positive were more than 10 times more likely to be the targets of disclosure. The implications for how social roles and social identities are manifest in these results are discussed, including the implications such an interpretation has for future prevention research.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Los Angeles
  • Mental Health
  • Self Disclosure*
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*
  • Social Support*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Truth Disclosure*