Costs and benefits of secrecy: the dilemma experienced by adolescents seropositive for HIV

Costs and benefits of secrecy: the dilemma experienced by adolescents seropositive for HIV

Author Galano, Eliana Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Turato, Egberto Ribeiro Google Scholar
Succi, Regina Célia de Menezes Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
de Souza Marques, Heloisa Helena Google Scholar
Della Negra, Marinella Google Scholar
da Silva, Mariliza Henrique Google Scholar
Carmo, Fabiana Bononi do Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Gouvêa, Aida de Fátima Thomé Barbosa Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Delmas, Philippe Google Scholar
Cote, Jose Google Scholar
Machado, Daisy Maria Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Abstract This study explored the experiences of the first generation of adolescents who acquired HIV through vertical transmission when disclosing their diagnosis to friends and romantic partners. The study sample was selected by convenience, with 20 patients (13-20 years old) participating in a qualitative investigation using individual interviews (language: Portuguese

duration: 45 minutes). The participants were followed in specialized clinics for the treatment of pediatric AIDS in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The results suggest that families who live with HIV tend to keep it a secret, and such behavior is learned and accepted unquestioningly as natural. Respect for privacy and the fear of rejection, coupled with the belief that information about their disease will be spread, are the main beliefs with which participants justify their secrecy. In terms of romantic relationships, adolescents were aware that their HIV status should at some point be shared with current or future sexual partners. However, the decision to reveal an HIV diagnosis in romantic relationships is permeated by anxieties, uncertainties about the right time, and fear of abandonment. In any case, telling the truth requires trust, guarantees of the other's love, and, in some cases, probing romantic partners beforehand to learn their perceptions about the disease. Participants who had experiences disclosing their HIV status shared positive and negative results, including emotional support, acceptance, and understanding, along with ostracism, discrimination, and abandonment by family members. The findings of this paper reinforce the challenges of revealing an HIV diagnosis to third parties. It requires understanding the meaning and importance of the secret for each patient, along with the conflict between the right to confidentiality and the responsibility of treating others exposed to the disease. All these aspects should be discussed extensively with this population and incorporated into clinical practice.
Keywords Adolescents
perinatal HIV
partner disclosure HIV/AIDS
qualitative research
xmlui.dri2xhtml.METS-1.0.item-coverage Abingdon
Language English
Sponsor ANRS - Agence Nationale de Recherche sur le Sida et les Hepatites Virales
Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP)
Grant number FAPESP: 2010/08302-8
ANRS: 12238
Date 2017
Published in Aids Care-Psychological And Socio-Medical Aspects Of Aids/Hiv. Abingdon, v. 29, n. 3, p. 394-398, 2017.
ISSN 0954-0121 (Sherpa/Romeo, impact factor)
Publisher Routledge Journals, Taylor & Francis Ltd
Extent 394-398
Access rights Closed access
Type Article
Web of Science ID WOS:000394613200019

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