Disclosure of the HIV Status to Partners by Pregnant Women

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Cynthia Zodwa Vilakati, MSN
Faculty of HEALTH Sciences, University of Swaziland, Mbabane, Swaziland

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to describe problems encountered by HIV positive pregnant after disclosure of their HIV status to their sexual partners.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to describe the fears and enxieties that lead to non-disclosure of the HIV status by pregnant women.

Purpose:  The purpose of the study was to describe the reasons for disclosure and non-disclosure of HIV status among pregnant women attending the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) session who had tested HIV positive . 

Methods:  Qualitative descriptive phenomenology was utilised as a method of enquiry in the study. Convenience and purposive sampling are used in this study.  The sample size of 15 pregnant women was determined by data saturation, that is, the point at which no new themes or essences emerged from the data. Therefore, predetermination of the number of participants was impossible. 

Results:  The results for those who opted to disclose were presented in themes and categories.   Themes that emerged were: Anger, acceptance, and resolution.   Categories were described under each theme and data chunks displayed (direct quotes from the participants) to support each category.  Only one theme emerged from those participants who opted not to disclose their HIV status. This theme was denial.  Two categories were described under this theme.  These were: loss of financial support and that they were not ready.  Reactions from partners to whom disclosure had been made included, anger, denial, indifference, support and acceptance.

Conclusion:  In conclusion, the study revealed that disclosure of the HIV status to partners is very difficult and challenging.  It is therefore recommended that; for effective disclosure of the HIV status, spouses should accompany their partners for the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) session.  This will encourage testing and disclosure of results to both partners