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J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2017 Nov - Dec;28(6):923-937. doi: 10.1016/j.jana.2017.06.014. Epub 2017 Jun 28.

HIV Status Disclosure in the Workplace: Positive and Stigmatizing Experiences of Health Care Workers Living with HIV.


We explored workplace experiences of 10 health care providers with HIV in the Netherlands. We used semi-structured interviews to discuss motivations for disclosure and concealment, reactions to disclosures, the impact of reactions, and coping with negative reactions. Reasons for disclosure were wanting to share the secret, expecting positive responses, observing positive reactions to others, wanting to prevent negative reactions, and being advised to disclose. Reasons for concealment included fearing negative reactions, observing negative reactions, previous negative experiences, having been advised to conceal, and considering disclosure unnecessary. Positive reactions included seeing HIV as a nonissue; showing interest, support, and empathy; and maintaining confidentiality. Negative reactions included management wanting to inform employees, work restrictions, hiring difficulties, gossip, and hurtful comments, resulting in participants being upset, taken aback, angry, depressed, or feeling resignation. Participants coped by providing information, standing above the experience, attributing reactions to ignorance, seeking social support, or leaving their jobs.


HIV; Netherlands; coping; disclosure; stigma; work

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