Perceived benefits and negative consequences of alcohol consumption in women living with HIV: a qualitative study
BACKGROUND The study identified correlates of women's perception that testing positive for HIV would be very difficult to communicate to friends, family members and sex partners. We also determined whether perceived disclosure difficulty was associated with HIV-testing intent. METHODS Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 143 women attending an urgent care centre in Atlanta, Georgia. The centre served primarily low-income or indigent African-American women. A three-item scale (alpha = 0.81) assessed disclosure difficulty. Assessed correlates included selected social/contextual factors and intrapersonal factors. RESULTS In controlled multivariate analyses, only the social/contextual factors were associated with HIV disclosure difficulty. Women perceiving an inability to cope with positive results were more likely to report high disclosure difficulty (P = 0.01). Women perceiving an inadequate support system and those believing that HIV would substantially complicate their lives were more likely to anticipate high disclosure difficulty (P = 0.006 and P = 0.03, respectively). Disclosure difficulty was not associated with intent for HIV-testing 'today' (P = 0.50) or within the next 12 months (P = 0.27). CONCLUSION Findings provide initial evidence suggesting that selected social/contextual factors rather than intrapersonal factors are associated with anticipated disclosure difficulty of HIV-positive test results among low-income minority women, residing in the urban south. High levels of anticipated disclosure difficulty may not preclude HIV test acceptance.