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PLoS One. 2015 Mar 17;10(3):e0119653. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0119653. eCollection 2015.

"It's my secret": fear of disclosure among sub-Saharan African migrant women living with HIV/AIDS in Belgium.

Author information

1
Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.
2
Department of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases-AIDS Reference Center, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.

Abstract

Patients with HIV not only have to deal with the challenges of living with an incurable disease but also with the dilemma of whether or not to disclose their status to their partners, families and friends. This study explores the extent to which sub-Saharan African (SSA) migrant women in Belgium disclose their HIV positive status, reasons for disclosure/non-disclosure and how they deal with HIV disclosure. A qualitative study consisting of interviews with twenty-eight SSA women with HIV/AIDS was conducted. Thematic content analysis was employed to identify themes as they emerged. Our study reveals that these women usually only disclose their status to healthcare professionals because of the treatment and care they need. This selective disclosure is mainly due to the taboo of HIV disease in SSA culture. Stigma, notably self-stigma, greatly impedes HIV disclosure. Techniques to systematically incorporate HIV disclosure into post-test counseling and primary care services are highly recommended.

PMID:
25781906
PMCID:
PMC4362755
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0119653
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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