HIV Serostatus disclosure among older people living with HIV/AIDS in Ga-Rankuwa, Gauteng Province
The increased HIV prevalence among adults aged 50 years and older over the last decade is attributed to the success of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and a growing incidence of newly diagnosed infections in older individuals. HIV/AIDS still makes those infected vulnerable, stigmatized and disinclined to disclose their status. Purpose of this article is to describe the HIV status disclosure narratives of older persons living with HIV. This study used a qualitative exploratory approach that included a purposive sample of older HIV-infected men (5) and women (7) currently receiving HIV healthcare services from a public health hospital in Gauteng Province. Data were collected using face-to face interviews. Thematic content analysis was employed to identify themes as they emerged. All participants disclosed their status at some point to someone after diagnosis. Some participants openly disclosed their status whereas others exercised selective disclosure. Participants’ experiences of disclosure yielded both positive and negative consequences for them.
Key words: Human Immunodeficiency virus, disclosure, older persons, stigma