"It was a mistake to disclose my HIV+ status": results from the "AIDES et toi" survey

Published: July 22, 2010

“It was a mistake to disclose my HIV+ status”: results from the “AIDES et toi” survey

D. Rojas Castro1, C. Andreo2, J.M. Le Gall1, B. Spire3

1AIDES, Méthodologie, Innovation, Recherche, Evaluation, Paris, France, 2AIDES Nationale, Paris, France, 3INSERM UMR912, Marseilles, France

Background: Disclosing HIV+ serology is a major concern for most PLWHA. As discrimination is a possible negative consequence of disclosure, this study aimed to analyze factors associated with regretting or not disclosure and the role of experiencing discrimination.
Methods: A nation-wide self-administered questionnaire with standardized items including socio-demographics, disclosure and discrimination after disclosure was filled out by 2434 people in contact with AIDES, the largest French CBO, 1098 reported being HIV+.
A logistic regression was performed in order to identify the factors associated with stating that it was a mistake to disclose HIV+ status.
Results: Almost all the respondents (95.9%) disclosed their HIV+ status at least to one person. Among these ones, 47.9% stated that it had been a mistake to disclose, 33% were women and 42% were MSM, 21.1% were migrants, 62.1% reported having a steady partner, and 29.6% declared being discriminated against in work settings.
Factors associated with regretting disclosure were being a migrant (OR: 0.7; p< 0.05), having been discriminated against because of HIV status in the last two years (OR: 1.6; p=0.012) and having been discriminated against in work settings (OR: 1.7; p=0.01). On the contrary, having a steady partner (OR: 0.6; p=0.03), deciding not to disclose one’s HIV status to work colleagues (OR: 0.4; p< 0.001) and considering that in the near future people from their own community will have a positive influence regarding care (OR: 0.7; p=0.005) were protective factors.
Conclusions: The discrimination experienced in work settings seems to be a major reason for regretting disclosure. Developing specific interventions for avoiding discriminative attitudes in the work place are urgently needed. Migrants also have to cope with particular difficulties when disclosing their HIV+ status. Confidence in the help provided by own community members is a protective factor against regretting disclosure.

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