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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 79  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 135-

"Human immunodeficiency virus serostatus disclosure-Rate, reactions, and discrimination": A cross-sectional study at a rural tertiary care hospital

1 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Government Medical College & Hospital, Akola, India
2 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, S. R. T. Rural Medical College & Hospital, Ambajogai (Dist-Beed), India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College & A. V. B. Rural Hospital, Sawangi (Meghe), Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Umesh S Joge
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Government Medical College & Hospital, Akola, Maharashtra (MH)
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.104690

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Background: From the moment scientists identified Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), social responses of fear, denial, stigma, and discrimination have accompanied the epidemic. Aims: To assess the rate of disclosure of HIV serostatus, reactions by the HIV/AIDS patients and their spouse, and discrimination faced by the patients. Methods: The present cross-sectional study was conducted at Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) center of a rural tertiary care hospital, situated in Marathawada region of Maharashtra state from November 2008 to October 2010. Totally, 801 HIV-positive patients coming to ART center for treatment were included after ensuring confidentiality and taking informed consent. A preformed questionnaire was used to enquire about reaction after diagnosis, disclosure, and discrimination faced by the patients. The data analyzed using descriptive statistics and Chi-square test. Results: The most common immediate reaction by the HIV patients after getting diagnosed as seropositive was fear (593, 74.03%) followed by depression (385, 48.06%) and suicidal thoughts (98, 12.25%). Out of 801 patients, 769 (96%) had spouse and of these maximum number of patients (653, 84.92%) had disclosed HIV status to their spouses. Most common immediate reaction by spouse after disclosure was crime (324, 42.13%) followed by horror (294, 38.23%) and anger (237, 36.29%). Maximum number of patients were discriminated by friends (120, 71.01%) followed by discrimination at workplace (49, 67.12%), by neighbors (32, 56.14%), and by relatives (53, 43.80%). Conclusion: Male positives were granted greater acceptance, care, and support by their spouses. More percentage of females discriminated by neighbors, relatives, and friends and at workplace which might be due to factors like customs, morals, and taboos.


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