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Public Health Rep. 2000 Jan-Feb; 115(1): 38–45.
PMCID: PMC1308555

Disclosure of HIV status to medical providers: differences by gender, "race," and immune function.


OBJECTIVE: The authors used data from a larger study to explore differences by gender, self-reported racial identification, and immune function in disclosure of HIV-positive serostatus to medical providers (dentists, family doctors, and emergency room [ER] and obstetrics-gynecology [ob/gyn] providers). METHOD: The authors analyzed interview responses from a convenience sample of African American and white men and women receiving HIV medical care at urban hospitals and clinics in St. Louis. Missouri. RESULTS: Of 179 respondents using at least one of three types of providers, 124 (69%) disclosed their HIV status to all applicable types of providers, 39 (22%) disclosed to only one or two types of providers, and 16 (9%) did not disclose to any of these types of providers. "Race" and CD4 count, but not gender, were independently associated with disclosure to dentists, family doctors, and ER providers in multivariate logistic regression analyses. CONCLUSIONS: Differences in disclosure rates, especially among patients who may be asymptomatic, suggest a need for public health education of both medical providers and patients with HIV.

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