HIV status disclosure among people living with HIV/AIDS at FASO, Mutare, Zimbabwe

Cent Afr J Med. 2009 Jan-Apr;55(1-4):1-7. doi: 10.4314/cajm.v55i1-4.63632.


Objective: To examine the prevalence, patterns and reasons for disclosure of HIV status among people living with HIV/AIDS.

Design: Adescriptive cross sectional survey.

Setting: FamilyAIDS Support Organisation (FASO), Mutare, Zimbabwe.

Subjects: A random selection of members of FASO attending clinic or meetings.

Outcome measures: Disclosure of HIV seropositivity to sexual partner, to one or more family members, to health care workers and to the wider public.

Results: There was 79%, 72% and 70% disclosure to the family, health workers and to sexual partners respectively. While public disclosure was 23%, more people wanted to disclose but did not get an opportunity. Main reasons for disclosure to family were to obtain psychosocial and material support; to the public it was to give HIV/AIDS a face; and to the sexual partner it was to have safer sex. Knowing one's HIV status for a year or longer was significantly associated with disclosure to family, sexual partner and the public. Females were significantly more likely to disclose to family members compared to males (p=0.004). People in abusive relationships were significantly less likely to disclose to sexual partners (OR=0.17, p=0.039).

Conclusion: Though disclosure rates were generally high, attention must be given to the small number of people engaging in high-risk behaviour, and disclosure counseling needs to be enhanced. Domestic violence hindered disclosure and we advise that it must be prevented.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Self Disclosure*
  • Sexual Partners
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Truth Disclosure*
  • Zimbabwe / epidemiology