Online Program

Relationship between depression and HIV status disclosure following recent HIV diagnosis among MSM

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Laurie Abler, PhD, MPH, Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University, Durham, NC
Kathleen J. Sikkema, Ph.D., Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University, Durham, NC
Melissa Watt, PhD, Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University, Durham, NC
Jessica MacFarlane, Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University, Durham, NC
Nathan B. Hansen, Ph.D., Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Patrick Wilson, PhD, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Anya Drabkin, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University, Durham, NC
Arlene Kochman, LCSW, Duke University, Durham, NC
Allyson Delorenzo, MPH, LMSW, Duke University, Durham, NC
Background: Disclosure of HIV status with sexual partners is an important strategy for preventing HIV transmission and may help one cope with HIV results, but depression has the potential to inhibit disclosure. This study explored the relationship between depression and HIV disclosure to sexual partners among recently diagnosed men who have sex with men (MSM). Methods: We recruited 102 MSM who had been recently HIV-diagnosed at a community clinic in New York City. In a computer-assisted survey, participants reported on HIV disclosure (number and types of people to whom they disclosed in the three months following diagnosis), depression (Beck Depression Index), disclosure self-efficacy, and sexual behaviors (timeline follow-back). Among the 93 (91.2%) participants who were sexually active in the three months after diagnosis, we modeled the relationship between number of disclosure events to sexual partners and depression using Poisson regression. The model adjusted for age, race, number of sexual partners, disclosure self-efficacy, and having a primary partner. Results: Most participants (90.3%) shared their diagnosis with at least one person, including disclosure to friends (82.8%), family (37.6%) and sexual partners (65.6%). In the adjusted model, depression was negatively associated with more frequent disclosure to sexual partners (Rate Ratioadj=0.69; 95%CI=0.48-0.99). Disclosing to sexual partners was not associated with frequency of unprotected sex. Conclusion: Many recently diagnosed MSM shared their status with sexual partners. However, participants with more depression symptoms disclosed to fewer partners. Addressing depression after diagnosis may help MSM disclose to their sexual partners and therefore contribute to secondary HIV prevention.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify the types of people to whom MSM are likely to disclose within three months of HIV diagnosis, and describe the association between depression and disclosure to a sexual partner.

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Depression

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently a postdoctoral associate responsible for conceptualizing and analyzing the data for the study presented in this abstract. For nearly ten years, I have focused on HIV interventions and behavioral research in different settings (US-based and international) with multiple populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 5008.0: HIV and mental health