Minority female youth are significantly affected by the HIV epidemic. The purpose of this pilot study was to explore sexual behavior practices, disclosure of HIV status, attitudes about disclosure, and knowledge of HIV disclosure laws among female youth with HIV (YWH). Findings suggest that the majority of YWH studied have been sexually active since their HIV diagnosis, although the nature and extent of sexual activity varied. Rates of nondisclosure to sexual partners varied based on the type of question asked, but at least some of the YWH in this sample reported sexual activity with a partner who was unaware of the participant's HIV status. YWH appear to be more likely to disclose before, as opposed to after, sexual activity. Although most YWH believe disclosure to sexual partners is important for a variety of reasons, many reasons exist for nondisclosure, including fear of rejection and limited communication skills. The majority of YWH in this sample were aware of the potential legal ramifications of nondisclosure although fear of legal repercussions was not the most important factor related to disclosure. These findings favor the implementation of HIV disclosure interventions over the enactment of HIV criminalization laws as a strategy for reducing HIV transmission.
Disclosure of HIV status among female youth with HIV.Faculty Publications
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Citation InformationChenneville, T., Lynn, V., Peacock, B., Turner, D. & Marhefka, S.L. (2015). Disclosure of HIV status among female youth with HIV. Ethics & Behavior, 25(4), 314-331. doi: 10.1080/10508422.2014.934371