Igwegbe AO, and Ugboaja JO.
This is a cross sectional survey of 280 HIV positiv e pregnant women attending a PMTCT clinic in Nnewi, southeastern Nigeria to determine the rate, pattern , outcome, and barriers to HIV serostatus disclosur e. All the women had known their status for more than three months. Two hundred and seventy two (97.1 %.) of the women had disclosed their HIV status. O ut of this number, 90.0% disclosed to their husbands; 23.5% to a priest/pastor and 11.4% to a c lose family member. The only reason for non disclosure to husbands was the fear of divorce. The partner’s reaction was supportive and understanding in all cases. Being single (x 2 =11.46; p= 0.00), low educational status (x 2 =7.64; p= 0.02), Anglican Christian denomination (x 2 =84; p=0.00) and non membership of a support group( x 2 =7.66; p= 0.00) significantly increased the likelihood of non disclosure. There was no significant association between age, parity, knowledge of partner’s HIV sta tus, duration of illness and the likelihood of serostatus disclosure. We conclude that the rate of serostatus disclosure among HIV positive pregnant women in Nnewi is high and the outcome is supportiv e. However, the fear of divorce should be addressed during post test counseling on serostatus disclosure.
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