A Comparative Study on Factors That Differentiate Hiv Positive Women Who Disclose Their Status From Women Who Do Not Disclose
The study investigated the factors that differentiate HIV positive women who disclose their status from women who do not disclose. The researcher concentrated on women who live in Mathare slums and attend support group therapies at RGC. The main objective of this study was to establish the factors that differentiate HIV positive women who disclose their status from those who do not disclose. The study adapted a descriptive research design to draw a sample of 93 respondents to whom a questionnaire was administered to provide quantitative data. Qualitative data was collected through use of an interview schedule administered to key informants. Data was analyzed to yield descriptive statistics, namely frequencies and percentages and presented in form of tables and charts. Content analysis was used to yield findings from qualitative data. The findings indicated that majority of women living in slums are HIV positive with no steady form of income. They are either employed as house helps on daily basis or contracted casually to wash clothes in various households. Opinion was equally divided on those who disclosed and those that did not disclose. Even those who disclosed significantly agreed that disclosing ones‟ HIV status causes rejection, blame, discrimination, stigmatization, separation, divorce and distorted relationships. The above factors contribute to fear and hence majority of women do not disclose for fear of the above consequences. In addition, disclosure was identified to negatively affect relationships at the short term though with community education and counseling the perception changed and they were positively embraced in the society. Various factors contributed and encouraged women to disclose. However, fear of rejection, discrimination, stigmatization, separation and divorce held back women who did not disclose their status. Thus, it was recommended that, community education and participation in HIV programs ought to be intensified and designed to be all inclusive. This would remove the fears associated with non-disclosure. Women who disclosed were observed to live a happier life, optimistic and fearless due to overcoming the hurdles associated with negative effects of disclosure. Their adherence to ART was also high and they received care, support and interactions from peers in various support groups they attend. This was unlike those women who never disclosed their status who were in constant fear and did not adhere to ART procedures.
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