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AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2008 Nov;22(11):907-16. doi: 10.1089/apc.2007.0194.

Factors affecting disclosure in South African HIV-positive pregnant women.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Pretoria/Medical Research Unit for Maternal and Infant Health Care Strategies, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa.


To provide understanding of social and psychological factors that affect disclosure of HIV status among women diagnosed HIV-positive in pregnancy, 438 HIV positive women attending antenatal al clinics in Pretoria, South Africa were invited to participate in a longitudinal study. A total of 293 (62%) women were enrolled from June 2003 to December 2004. Questionnaires assessing sociodemographics and psychological measures were administered during pregnancy and at 3 months postdelivery. At enrollment, 59% had disclosed to their partners and 42% to others. This rose to 67% and 59%, respectively, by follow-up. Logistic regression analysis identified being married (adjusted odds Ratio [AOR] 2.32; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.20-4.47), prior discussion about testing (AOR 4.19; CI 2.34-7.49), having a partner with tertiary education (AOR 2.76; CI 1.29-5.88) and less experience of violence (AOR 0.48; CI 0.24-0.97) as factors associated with having disclosed to partners prior to enrollment. Better housing (AOR 1.26; CI 1.06-1.49), less financial dependence on partners (AOR 0.46; CI 0.25-0.85), and knowing someone with HIV (AOR 2.13; CI 1.20-3.76) were associated with prior disclosure to others. Increased levels of stigma at baseline decreased the likelihood of disclosure to partners postenrollment (AOR 0.91; CI 0.84-0.98) and increased levels of avoidant coping decreased subsequent disclosure to others (AOR 0.84; CI 0.72-0.97). These results provide understanding of disclosure for women diagnosed as HIV positive in pregnancy, and identify variables that could be used to screen for women who require help.

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