Decision Readiness to Disclose Human Immunodeficiency Virus-positive Status to Family Members

Sex Transm Dis. 2019 May;46(5):342-346. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000966.


Background: People living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (PLWH) are faced with the often difficult decision of whether, when, and how to disclose their seropositive status. This study draws on the transtheoretical model of change to examine men and women's decision readiness to disclose their HIV-positive status to family members and to assess predictors (decisional balance and decision self-efficacy) of their decision readiness.

Methods: Cross-sectional data were collected from 346 PLWH-191 males and 155 females. Participants self-reported on their disclosure decision readiness, decisional balance, and decision self-efficacy. Data were analyzed using χ tests, general linear models, and multinomial logistic regression models.

Results: Two thirds of PLWH were in the 3 lower stages of decision readiness, with the majority starting to think about disclosure. One third of PLWH were in the 3 higher stages of decision readiness (close to deciding or have made the decision to disclose). Decisional balance and decision self-efficacy predicted decision readiness. Overall, few gender differences emerged.

Conclusions: These findings can help researchers, clinicians, and health care providers to better understand and support PLWH as they move through the decision making process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Decision Making*
  • Family
  • Female
  • HIV / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV Seropositivity
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Report
  • Truth Disclosure