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HIV-serostatus disclosure in the context of free antiretroviral therapy and socio-economic dependency : experiences among women living with HIV in Tanzania

Bohle, Leah F. and Dilger, Hansjörg and Groß, Uwe. (2014) HIV-serostatus disclosure in the context of free antiretroviral therapy and socio-economic dependency : experiences among women living with HIV in Tanzania. African journal of AIDS research, Vol. 13, H. 3. pp. 215-227.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6337475

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Abstract

The worldwide implementation of free antiretroviral therapy (ART) raised great hopes among policy makers and health organisations about the positive changes it would bring about in attitudes and behaviours towards HIV and AIDS, as well as for infected people's lives. A change in illness perception was anticipated, leading to the hypothesis of a possible change in disclosure rates, patterns and the choice of significant others to inform. In the era of free treatment availability in the United Republic of Tanzania, we examined reasons for disclosure and non-disclosure among HIV-seropositive women enrolled on ART and their choice of significant others to inform. In so doing, we contribute to the necessary yet neglected debate about the social impact of ART on the lives of infected women. The study, for which an ethnographic cross-sectional pilot approach was chosen, was conducted at the Care and Treatment Center (CTC) at Bombo Regional Hospital (BRH) in Tanga city, Tanzania. Data presented here derive from participant observation, questionnaires and semi-structured interviews conducted with 59 HIV-seropositive women on ART. Interestingly, and despite treatment availability, the choice of significant others to inform, as well as reasons for disclosure and non-disclosure, mirror findings from previous studies conducted before the introduction of free ART. The main reason for non-disclosure was fear of discrimination. The hope for social, economic or health support was the main motivation for disclosure, followed by the need for a 'clinic companion' in order to receive ART, as requested by hospital staff. Nevertheless, healthcare staff were not unanimous in thinking that disclosure is always beneficial, thus the recommended extent of disclosure varied. ART and concomitant factors were raised as an entirely new and significant reason for disclosure by interviewees. Finally, findings confirm that despite ART, disclosure remains a highly stressful event for women.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Swiss Centre for International Health > Sexual and Reproductive Health (Zahorka)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
UniBasel Contributors:Bohle, Leah Franziska
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Rhodes University
ISSN:1608-5906
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:06 Feb 2015 09:59
Deposited On:06 Feb 2015 09:59

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