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Patterns of HIV disclosure among African-Americans enrolled in a disclosure notification education program

Tania Basta, MPH1, Enbal Shacham, MEd2, and Michael Reece, PhD, MPH2. (1) Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, The University of Georgia, 300 River Road, Athens, GA 30602, 706-583-0692, tbasta@uga.edu, (2) Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, HPER Building 116, 1025 E. Seventh Street, Bloomington, IN 47405-7109

Background: Research indicates that individuals disclose their HIV status based on perceived social support and perceptions of stigma associated with the disease. Lack of disclosure is associated with high levels of psychological distress and low perceived quality of life. Objective: To examine the rates and patterns of HIV disclosure among African-Americans enrolled in a disclosure notification education program in an urban HIV clinic. Method: Pre-intervention data from 175 African-Americans living with HIV were analyzed to examine the rates of disclosure among partners, family, and friends. Post-intervention data from 29 participants were analyzed to assess the extent to which the intervention was associated with increased disclosure notification. Participants self-enrolled in the education program over a three-year period at an urban clinic in a large southeastern city. Results: Of the initial 175 individuals, the majority (n=98, 56%) had disclosed their HIV status to one or more of their parents, siblings (n=125, 71.4%) or friends (n=98, 56%). However, the majority had not disclosed their status to their partner (n=81, 46.3%). While only 17% (n=29) of the initial participants completed the sixty-day post-intervention survey, the post-test results indicate a statistically significant increase among disclosure notification to parents (t=2.25, p<.05), partners (t=3.36, p<.05), and friends (t=2.77, p<.05). Conclusions: These data indicate it is important to engage African-Americans living with HIV in disclosure notification programs to receive the education needed to disclose HIV status and, ultimately, maximize quality of life and prevent transmission of the disease.

Learning Objectives: Learning Objectives

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

HIV/AIDS Research Roundtable: African American Health

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA