Effects of Anticipated Stigma and Discrimination on Self-Disclosure of HIV Seropositive Status among People Living with HIV and AIDS in Kenya
The purpose of the study was to establish whether anticipated stigma and discrimination from intimate partners and social support networks such as family, friends, neighbours, community, religious affiliates and workmates predicted the likelihood of self-disclosure of HIV seropositive status by People Living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) in Kenya. A survey was conducted among a random sample of 232 adult Persons Living with HIV and AIDS in Nairobi, Kenya. Data was collected using interviews and focus group discussions. The results revealed that 50.5% had disclosed their HIV seropositive status, while 49.5% had not. The results of regression analysis revealed that anticipated stigma and discrimination by intimate partners and social support networks were statistically significant negative predictors of self-disclosure of HIV seropositive status among PLWHA as evidenced by the Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR < 1.000). The negative predictors included anticipated intimate partner violence (AOR= 0.635; p = 0.016), abandonment by the family (AOR= 0.410; p = 0.002), isolation by friends (AOR=0.136; p=0.001), exclusion from social functions (AOR= 0.365; p = 0.002), exclusion from access to community amenities (AOR= 0.416; p = 0.032), exclusion by the religious group (AOR= 0.446; p = 0.032), and dismissal from the workplace (AOR= 0.266; p = 0.002). However, the anticipated desertion by intimate partners (AOR= 0.539; p = 0.086) and the anticipated segregation by the community (AOR= 0.0.538; p = 0.076) were not statistically significant predictors. These findings established that the study participants who anticipated negative consequences from their intimate partners and social support networks were not likely to disclose their HIV seropositive status. These findings further established that there was an inverse relationship between anticipated stigma and discrimination and self-disclosure of HIV seropositive status among PLWHA. This implies that anticipated stigma and discrimination promoted the non-disclosure of HIV seropositive status instead of fostering disclosure. The study concluded that anticipated stigma and discrimination against PLWHA act as risk factors for non-disclosure of HIV seropositive status thereby putting intimate partners and significant others at risk of HIV infection.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Lucy W Ngige, PhD, Phoebe D Ndayala, PhD
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