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AIDS Care. 2017 Aug;29(8):978-984. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2017.1280124. Epub 2017 Jan 18.

Prevalence, patterns, and correlates of HIV disclosure among TB-HIV patients initiating antiretroviral therapy in Lesotho.

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a ICAP, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University , New York , NY , USA.
b Department of Epidemiology , Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University , New York , NY , USA.
c National Tuberculosis Control Programme, Lesotho Ministry of Health , Maseru , Lesotho.


Disclosure of HIV-positive status has important implications for patient outcomes and preventing HIV transmission, but has been understudied in TB-HIV patients. We assessed disclosure patterns and correlates of non-disclosure among adult TB-HIV patients initiating ART enrolled in the START Study, a mixed-methods cluster-randomized trial conducted in Lesotho, which evaluated a combination intervention package (CIP) versus standard of care. Interviewer-administered questionnaire data were analyzed to describe patterns of disclosure. Patient-related factors were assessed for association with non-disclosure to anyone other than a health-care provider and primary partners using generalized linear mixed models. Among 371 participants, 95% had disclosed their HIV diagnosis to someone other than a health-care provider, most commonly a spouse/primary partner (76%). Age, TB knowledge, not planning to disclose TB status, greater perceived TB stigma, and CIP were associated with non-disclosure in unadjusted models (pā€‰<ā€‰.1). In adjusted models, all point estimates were similar and greater TB knowledge (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.59, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.39-0.90) and CIP (aOR 0.20, 95% CI 0.05-0.79) remained statistically significant. Among 220 participants with a primary partner, 76% had disclosed to that partner. Significant correlates of partner non-disclosure (pā€‰<ā€‰.1) in unadjusted analyses included being female, married/cohabitating, electricity at home, not knowing if partner was HIV-positive, and TB knowledge. Adjusted point estimates were largely similar, and being married/cohabitating (aOR 0.03, 95% CI 0.01-0.12), having electricity at home (aOR 0.38, 95% CI 0.17-0.85) and greater TB knowledge (aOR 0.76, 95% CI 0.59-0.98) remained significant. In conclusion, although nearly all participants reported disclosing their HIV status to someone other than a health-care provider at ART initiation, nearly a quarter of participants with a primary partner had not disclosed to their partner. Additional efforts to support HIV disclosure (e.g., counseling) may be needed for TB-HIV patients, particularly for women and those unaware of their partners' status.


HIV; TB-HIV co-infection; disclosure; sexual partnerships; tuberculosis

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