To disclose or not? Enabling pregnant women to disclose their HIV status to their male partners

Mapula E. Seroto, Elsie Janse van Rensburg


Disclosure of HIV status by pregnant women to their male partners is vital to prevent re-infections. The aim of this study was to apply the Health Belief Model (HBM) to enable pregnant women to disclose their HIV positive status to their male partners. The setting included three antiretroviral (ARV) clinics at three hospitals in Limpopo Province, South Africa. A quantitative design was used with non-probability, convenience sampling of 170 respondents aged 18-40 years. A questionnaire was used to collect data that was analysed with the SSPS version 24.0. Results indicated that 20% of respondents had not disclosed their HIV status to their male partners. Barriers included fear of rejection (47.5%), fear of violence from partner (17.5%), blame for HIV exposure by partner (10%) and stigmatisation (25%). The conclusion was that health care workers should address these barriers through disclosure education with pregnant women who are HIV positive to facilitate HIV status disclosure to their male partners. (Afr J Reprod Health 2021; 25[3]: 30-40).

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