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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Why Do People Disclose Their HIV Status? Qualitative Evidence from a Group of Activist Women in Khayelitsha
Author:Almeleh, Colin
Periodical:Social Dynamics
Geographic term:South Africa
social environment
Women's Issues
Health and Nutrition
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Urbanization and Migration
Cultural Roles
Health, Nutrition, and Medicine
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02533950608628730
Abstract:Avoiding stigmatizing attitudes (characterized by blame and gossip) in the community, while simultaneously accessing treatment, care and support, is the tricky path people living with HIV/AIDS have to negotiate. In this sense, the life experiences of people living with HIV/AIDS are bounded by their social context and their individual actions are a response to their environment. They both reinforce and challenge existing community stereotypes about HIV. This study explores the bio-psychosocial context of HIV/AIDS in which eleven HIV-positive activist women from Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa, negotiated the process of disclosing their HIV-positive status to significant others, specifically biological household members. The results suggest that the unique and changing biophysical nature of HIV/AIDS has a significant effect on the timing and motivation of people's decision to disclose their HIV-status and on the choice of recipients. The data suggest two key motivations for disclosure: to access health-related social support (individually focussed) and to educate others about the realities of HIV/AIDS (socially focussed). Additional motivations interplay with the primary motivations. These include maintaining control over treatment and care requirements; attempts to improve and maintain psychological well-being; sustaining and nurturing significant relationships; and countering prevailing misconceptions about the relationship between HIV/AIDS and health. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]