Disclosure Narratives of Women Living with HIV in South Africa

Juliet Iwelunmor, Ucheoma Nwaozuru, Yewande Sofolahan-Oladeinde, Donaldson Conserve, Collins O. Airhihenbuwa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study explored the disclosure narratives of women living with HIV (WLWH) to establish how they make sense of the stigmatized identity associated with HIV and decisions to conceal or reveal knowledge of their seropositive status to others. Forty-eight WLWH participated in seven focus group discussions (with 42 participants) and six in-depth interviews about their experiences with living with HIV and disclosure of their HIV seropositive status. The results suggest three key themes highlighting: (1) how HIV disrupted the identities of some of the participants, (2) how disclosure tested the strength of identities and relationships, and (3) how WLWH coped with HIV and disclosure. The findings help to reveal experiences that typically remain implicit or unrecognized as WLWH unite their past, with the present and a future identity, where HIV is moved from the foreground into the background.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-288
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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