Shrestha, R., Altice, F., Sibilio, B., & Copenhaver, M.
Journal of Community Health, July 2018. Abstract
HIV sero-status disclosure among people living with HIV (PLWH) is an important component of preventing HIV transmission to sexual partners. Due to various social, structural, and behavioral challenges, however, many HIV-infected opioid-dependent patients do not disclose their HIV status to all sexual partners. In this analysis, we therefore examined non-disclosure practices and correlates of non-disclosure among high-risk HIV-infected opioid-dependent individuals. HIV-infected opioid-dependent individuals who reported HIV-risk behaviors were enrolled (N = 133) and assessed for HIV disclosure, risk behaviors, health status, antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, HIV stigma, social support and other characteristics. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify significant correlates of non-disclosure. Overall, 23% reported not disclosing their HIV status to sexual partners, who also had high levels of HIV risk: sharing of injection equipment (70.5%) and inconsistent condom use (93.5%). Independent correlates of HIV non-disclosure included: being virally suppressed (aOR 0.19, p = 0.04), high HIV-related stigma (aOR 2.37, p = 0.03), and having multiple sex partners (aOR 5.87, p = 0.04). Furthermore, a significant interaction between HIV-related stigma and living with family/friends suggests that those living with family/friends were more likely to report not disclosing their HIV status when higher levels of perceived stigma was present. Our findings support the need for future interventions to better address the impact of perceived stigma and HIV disclosure as it relates to risk behaviors among opioid-dependents patients in substance abuse treatment settings.