Research conducted in South Africa shows that the vast majority of people with HIV tell their family about their status, but that disclosure to sexual partners was much less common.
The study involved approximately 700 participants, most of whom (73%) were women. Sixty per cent were on HIV treatment.
The likelihood of disclosure to family members differed by sex and by the use of HIV treatment.
Some 70% of women not on HIV therapy had disclosed to a family member, as had 93% of women taking HIV treatment. Rates of disclosure were lower for men (54% of those not on therapy; 77% of men taking treatment).
Disclosure to sexual partners was much less common. In comparison, about a quarter of women disclosed, as did 45% of men. Being on treatment or not didn’t make the same difference to disclosure rates.
People more recently diagnosed seem to find it easier to disclose their HIV status.