MPhil study projects

Exploring the perceptions of women living with HIV and Aids on the impact of status disclosure to spouses in Ndola district, Republic of Zambia

Student: Carol Mukuka Mwansa

Country: Zambia

Disclosure of HIV status is pivotal for preventing the spread of HIV infection and managing the condition. Some HIV-positive women opt not to disclose their status to their spouses. Disclosure enables partners to be informed about each other’s status and encourages mutual testing. However, knowing one partner’s positive status doesn’t always prompt the other to test.

This qualitative study focused on married HIV-positive women aged 18 to 50, employing non-probability sampling, specifically stratified random sampling. The results indicated universal awareness among participants regarding HIV/Aids transmission. Regarding disclosure, 5% stated they would never reveal their status, 25% would disclose immediately and 70% would do so after some time.

The findings underscored the importance of couple counselling and testing, aiming to facilitate mutual understanding and address potential conflicts. Disclosure should not be unilateral but rather aimed at providing couples with comprehensive information to navigate conflicts and gendered power dynamics. HIV testing services should also address these relational aspects to foster collective knowledge, acceptance and management of HIV status in marriages.