Factors associated with HIV status disclosure to partners and its outcomes among HIV-positive women attending Care and Treatment Clinics at Kilimanjaro region, Tanzania

Damian J. Damian, Diana Ngahatilwa, Hatibu Fadhili, Johnston G. Mkiza, Michael J. Mahande, James S. Ngocho, Sia E. Msuya
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Sub Saharan Africa continues to be the epicenter of HIV with 70% of people living with HIV globally. Women form nearly 60% of those living with HIV. Studies have shown disclosure of one’s HIV status is important in HIV prevention, in increasing partners who are tested and getting into care early as well as in improving retention in PMTCT and ART programs. This study aimed to determine the prevalence, factors and outcomes of HIV status disclosure to partners among HIV-positive women attending HIV care-and-treatment clinics (CTCs) at Kilimanjaro region, northern Tanzania.


A cross-sectional study was conducted from January to June 2014 in 3 out of the 7 districts of Kilimanjaro region. The study population was HIV-positive women aged 15–49, who were attending for routine HIV care at 19 selected clinics. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with consenting women to collect necessary information. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to determine the independent predictors of HIV status disclosure to partner.


A total of 672 HIV-positive women in Moshi municipal, Hai and Mwanga districts were enrolled. Of them, 609 HIV-positive women reported to have a regular partner. Prevalence of serostatus disclosure to partners was 66%. Of the 400 who had disclosed; 56% did so within the first month of knowing their HIV status. In a multiple logistic regression model, HIV serostatus disclosure was higher among women who: were married/cohabiting (AOR = 4.16, 95% CI: 2.39–7.25; p<0.001), currently on ART (AOR = 2.06, 95% CI: 1.11–3.82; p = 0.020), and who reported had ever communicated with partners on number of children (AOR = 1.85, 95% CI: 1.15–2.98; p = 0.010) and contraceptives use (AOR = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.27–3.20; p = 0.208). Most of the women (81%) who disclosed their HIV status to did not reported negative outcomes.


In this setting still a third of the HIV-positive women (34%) fail to disclose their HIV- serostatus to partners. Interventions to impart skills in communication and negotiation between partners may help in improving disclosure of HIV. Efforts to involve men in general sexual and reproductive health including couple counseling and testing will contribute in improving disclosure and communication on HIV among partners.