People who were seronegative on their first human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing may react differently to being seropositive on subsequent testing (seroconversion) compared to those who were HIV seropositive at their first HIV testing. In both cases, disclosure of a positive HIV status to at least one other person is considered one of the most important factors for prevention of transmission of HIV. Whilst reactions of people towards a positive HIV test result are well documented, how HIV infected women cope with HIV seroconversion and whether they disclose their HIV serostatus following seroconversion or not is least known. This study assessed if types of coping strategies adopted following HIV seroconversion are associated with disclosure of HIV serostatus. There were no statistically significant associations between types of coping strategies adopted following HIV seroconversion and disclosure of HIV serostatus. We also noted that prevalence of non-disclosure was very high in the context of high disease burden. Our results suggest that there is a need to develop new and effective ways of encouraging disclosure of HIV serostatus among people who test HIV positive on subsequent testing. Results also present opportunities for further enquiry on factors that may be associated with disclosure of HIV serostatus to strengthen current efforts of containing the spread of HIV infection.
Key words: Disclosure, coping strategies, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), seroconversion.
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