Document Type



Internal Medicine (East Africa)


Background: Disclosure of HIV serostatus can have significant benefits for people living with HIV/AIDS. However, there is limited data on whether partner disclosure influences ART treatment response.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of newly diagnosed, ART-naïve HIV-infected adults (>18 years) who enrolled at the Coptic Hope Center in Nairobi, Kenya between January 1st2009 and July 1st 2011 and initiated ART within 3 months. Analysis was restricted to adults who reported to have either disclosed or not disclosed their HIV status to their partner. Analysis of CD4 response at 6 and 12 months post-ART was stratified by age group.

Results: Among 615 adults newly initiating ART with partner disclosure data and 12 month follow-up, mean age was 38 years and 52% were male; 76% reported that they had disclosed their HIV-status to their partner. Those who disclosed were significantly younger and more likely to be married/cohabitating than non-disclosers. At baseline, median CD4 counts were similar between disclosure groups. Among younger adults (< 38 years) those who disclosed had higher CD4 recovery than those who did not at 6 months post- ART (mean difference = 31, 95% CI 3 to 58 p = 0.03) but not at 12 months (mean difference = 17, 95% CI -19 to 52, p = 0.4). Among older adults (≥ 38years) there was no observed difference in CD4 recovery at 6 or 12 months between disclosure groups.

Conclusion: Among younger adults, disclosure of HIV status to partners may be associated with CD4 recovery following ART.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

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