Barriers to timely disclosure of HIV serostatus: a qualitative study at care and treatment centres in Dar es salaam, Tanzania
Date of Award
Master of Medicine (MMed)
Dr. Riaz Ratansi
Dr. Nancy Matillya
Medical College (East Africa)
Introduction: Disclosure of HIV status is important for HIV prevention and maintenance of health for People living with HIV (PLWHIV), their spouses and the community. Despite the benefits of disclosure, there are PLWHIV who delay in disclosing their status thus increasing the risk of transmission of the disease. Objective: This study aimed at determining the barriers to timely disclosure of HIV serostatus among HIV seropositive individuals in Dar es Salaam and what motivated them to disclose.
Methods: A qualitative descriptive study using in depth individual interviews was conducted. Ten participants attending the care and treatment centres took part. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the data.
Results: Four categories emerged from the data; Barriers hindering timely disclosure, Motivation for disclosure of serostatus, Consequence of delayed disclosure and Ways of facilitating timely disclosure. The reasons for disclosure identified were for social support, to prevent transmission of the disease and wanting to be at peace. It was noted that trust in the confidant and counselling from healthcare workers highly prompted disclosure. The barriers that hindered timely disclosure was being in denial of one’s own status, the fear of stigmatization/being divorced or left, the need to protect ones loved ones and the lack of adequate knowledge of the disease.
Conclusion and recommendations: Timely disclosure is essential in minimizing the risk and preventing further spread of HIV. Since HIV is negatively perceived by the public, this study demonstrated that the biggest obstacle in timely disclosure is stigma. It was shown that adequate counselling and support from health care workers empowers people living with HIV leading to self-acceptance and eventual disclosure. More qualitative studies need to be done in Tanzania to explore HIV associated stigmatization in depth and ways to reduce the stigma
Ismail, Neelam Akber (2020)Barriers to timely disclosure of HIV serostatus: a qualitative study at care and treatment centres in Dar es salaam, Tanzania (Unpublished Masters Thesis). Dar es salaam: Aga Khan University