Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
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Experiences of HIV Positive Serostatus Disclosure to Sexual Partner Among Individuals in Discordant Couples in Mbarara City, Southwestern Uganda

Authors: Humphrey Atwijukiire, Gladys Nakidde, Anne Tweheyo Otwine, Jane Kabami

Abstract:

Experiences of HIV Positive Serostatus Disclosure to Sexual Partner Among Individuals in Discordant Couples in Mbarara City, Southwestern Uganda Introduction: Disclosure of HIV status is key in HIV management. Despite many studies on serostatus disclosure, there is a gap in experiences regarding HIV status disclosure among discordant couples. This study explored the lived experiences of serostatus disclosure among discordant couples in Mbarara City, South Western Uganda. Methods: We conducted 12 in-depth interviews using translated interview guide, and audio recorders. Participants were purposively enrolled in the study. The study was conducted at three public health facilities in Mbarara City. Data was analyzed using thematic content analysis. Approval for this research was obtained from Mbarara University Research Ethics Committee and administrative clearance from city clerk of Mbarara City. Results: The mean age of participants was 38 years. An equal number of males (six) and females participated. Most of them had at least secondary level education, only three had primary education. Experienced benefits of HIV serostatus disclosure included: social support and care; decisions regarding health, fertility, and child bearing; sharing information on HIV prevention and protection; positive living; and, ease of HIV disclosure. The challenges included: misunderstandings in the families. Conclusion: Socially, psychologically and financially PLWHIV have benefited from their negative partners. Health wise, they have been supported, and cared for, but some have faced challenges, such as family misunderstandings. Couple HIV counseling and testing by a trained health worker is beneficial in HIV care and could mitigate the challenges related HIV serostatus disclosure.

Keywords: discordant couples, disclosure, experiences, HIV

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