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Women's disclosure of HIV status: experiences of mistreatment and violence in an urban setting.
Women Health. 1997; 25(3):19-31.WH

Abstract

Women represent an increasing proportion of AIDS cases and anecdotal reports suggest some face substantial risks when others learn they are HIV-positive. The purpose of this paper is to describe women's fears and experiences regarding disclosure of their HIV status. Fifty HIV-positive women, ages 16-45 from urban teaching hospital outpatient clinics, were interviewed using an in-depth, qualitative interview. Eighty-six percent of the women were African American and 56% were current or former IVDU. At the time of the interview, 88% of the women had known their HIV status for a year or more. All but one woman had disclosed her HIV status to at least one person and 82% had disclosed to multiple people. Although two-thirds of the women had been afraid to disclose to others because of concerns about rejection, discrimination or violence, three-quarters of the sample reported only supportive and understanding responses to their disclosure. One-quarter of the sample reported negative consequences of disclosure, including rejection, abandonment, verbal abuse and physical assault. Disclosure-related violence was discussed by nine women (18%): two who feared violence were relieved to find a supportive response; four chose not to disclose their status because they feared violence; and three women were verbally or physically assaulted. Fear of mistreatment figured prominently in decisions about disclosure among this sample. That many women found supportive and understanding responses is encouraging. However, there were sufficient examples of negative consequences, including violence, to suggest individualized approaches to post-test counseling, enhanced support services for HIV-positive women, and public education to destigmatize HIV-disease.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Johns Hopkins University, School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

9273981

Citation

Gielen, A C., et al. "Women's Disclosure of HIV Status: Experiences of Mistreatment and Violence in an Urban Setting." Women & Health, vol. 25, no. 3, 1997, pp. 19-31.
Gielen AC, O'Campo P, Faden RR, et al. Women's disclosure of HIV status: experiences of mistreatment and violence in an urban setting. Women Health. 1997;25(3):19-31.
Gielen, A. C., O'Campo, P., Faden, R. R., & Eke, A. (1997). Women's disclosure of HIV status: experiences of mistreatment and violence in an urban setting. Women & Health, 25(3), 19-31.
Gielen AC, et al. Women's Disclosure of HIV Status: Experiences of Mistreatment and Violence in an Urban Setting. Women Health. 1997;25(3):19-31. PubMed PMID: 9273981.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Women's disclosure of HIV status: experiences of mistreatment and violence in an urban setting. AU - Gielen,A C, AU - O'Campo,P, AU - Faden,R R, AU - Eke,A, PY - 1997/1/1/pubmed PY - 1997/1/1/medline PY - 1997/1/1/entrez KW - Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome KW - Americas KW - Behavior KW - Biology KW - Crime KW - Demographic Factors KW - Developed Countries KW - Diseases KW - Domestic Violence--women KW - Emotions KW - Fear--women KW - Hiv Infections KW - Maryland KW - North America KW - Northern America KW - Population KW - Population Characteristics KW - Psychological Factors KW - Research Report KW - Risk Factors KW - Social Problems KW - United States KW - Urban Population--women KW - Viral Diseases KW - Women SP - 19 EP - 31 JF - Women & health JO - Women Health VL - 25 IS - 3 N2 - Women represent an increasing proportion of AIDS cases and anecdotal reports suggest some face substantial risks when others learn they are HIV-positive. The purpose of this paper is to describe women's fears and experiences regarding disclosure of their HIV status. Fifty HIV-positive women, ages 16-45 from urban teaching hospital outpatient clinics, were interviewed using an in-depth, qualitative interview. Eighty-six percent of the women were African American and 56% were current or former IVDU. At the time of the interview, 88% of the women had known their HIV status for a year or more. All but one woman had disclosed her HIV status to at least one person and 82% had disclosed to multiple people. Although two-thirds of the women had been afraid to disclose to others because of concerns about rejection, discrimination or violence, three-quarters of the sample reported only supportive and understanding responses to their disclosure. One-quarter of the sample reported negative consequences of disclosure, including rejection, abandonment, verbal abuse and physical assault. Disclosure-related violence was discussed by nine women (18%): two who feared violence were relieved to find a supportive response; four chose not to disclose their status because they feared violence; and three women were verbally or physically assaulted. Fear of mistreatment figured prominently in decisions about disclosure among this sample. That many women found supportive and understanding responses is encouraging. However, there were sufficient examples of negative consequences, including violence, to suggest individualized approaches to post-test counseling, enhanced support services for HIV-positive women, and public education to destigmatize HIV-disease. SN - 0363-0242 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/9273981/Women's_disclosure_of_HIV_status:_experiences_of_mistreatment_and_violence_in_an_urban_setting_ L2 - https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1300/J013v25n03_02 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -