Supporting Disclosure is Key to Treatment As Prevention
In Gus Cairn’s aidsmap.com article titled “What are the barriers that could stop HIV treatment becoming HIV prevention?” published on November 12, 2014, Valerie Delpech of Public Health England emphasised:
“There needed to be better community engagement and the support of non-HIV NGOs; the ‘syndemic’ of depression, substance use, stigma, violence and low disclosure rates in gay men also needed to be addressed. She ended by quoting statistics from the Positive Voices survey, which showed that 45% of patients said “It is very hard to tell people about my HIV status” and that 24% said “I worry very much about transmitting HIV”. The success of treatment as prevention may be imperilled as much by the social fear of HIV as much as by rates of testing, early diagnosis, retention, viral suppression and resistance, she emphasised.”
We continue to discuss complexities involved in disclosing one’s status to sex partners.There has never been an occasion when a person living with HIV stated they did not want to disclose their HIV status. A common theme in all disclosure workshops is fear of transmitting HIV, while coping with stigma, discrimination, violence, or any threat that may accompany disclosure.Success of treatment as prevention most certainly does involve more community involvement on all levels and support to address fear of HIV. Having disclosure received in a more welcoming and supportive manner is a key component in the success of treatment as prevention. Therefore we will continue to prioritize disclosure discussions in prevention plans.
The HIV Disclosure Project