Background Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV) is a major source of concern in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), a small archipelago of islands in the Caribbean region. Since transmission is predominantly through sexual contact, it is important to understand the dynamics of sexual relationships in this country, including the likelihood of HIV seropositivity disclosure. Knowledge about one’s partner’s seropositivity can guide both the sexual behaviour and HIV testing decision-making processes. The objective of the study was thus to examine factors associated with willingness to disclose HIV status in a general TCI sample, including self-reported discrimination towards HIV positive persons, which has rarely been examined in relation to disclosure.
Methods The current study is based on secondary analysis of the 2011 Knowledge, Attitudes Practices and Behaviours survey data (N = 837; 55% female; mean age = 31.28 (STD = 9.3)). Multivariate logistic regression examined the association between willingness to disclose HIV seropositivity to partner (Yes/No) and gender, age, sexual partner number, church attendance, cohabitation status, HIV treatment knowledge, ever tested status and self-reported HIV discrimination.
Results Nearly half of the participants were unwilling to disclose HIV seropositivity (44.8%). Moreover, willingness to disclose HIV seropositivity was related to having one or less sexual partner (OR = 1.98, 95% CI = 1.29 – 3.01), non-regular church attendance (OR = 1.55, 95% CI = 1.10 – 2.19), cohabitation (OR = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.47 – 0.97), knowing about HIV treatment (OR = 0.50, 95% CI = 0.32 – 0.80) and having an HIV test (OR = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.26 – 0.63). Self-reported discrimination was also related to willingness to disclose HIV seropositivity (OR = 0.62, 95% CI = 0.44 – 0.88).
Conclusion Several factors were associated with willingness to disclose HIV seropositivity, including self-reported discrimination. These findings may have implications on post HIV test counselling initiatives, which should include a focus on education.
Disclosure of interest statement Nothing to declare.
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