Barriers and facilitators of HIV disclosure: Perspectives from HIV-infected men who have sex with men

Jeffrey R. Driskell, Elizabeth Salomon, Kenneth Mayer, Benjamin Capistrant, Steven Safren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


HIV disclosure among sexually active HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM) is a complex phenomenon. To better understand factors that impact the decision-making process regarding HIV disclosure among HIV-infected MSM, the present study analyzed content from previously conducted counseling sessions where HIV disclosure was selected as the primary focus of the session. The counselor/participant dialogue was audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed qualitatively using content analysis. Factors identified as barriers that deter HIV-infected MSM from disclosing include rejection, issues of confidentiality, possible missed sexual opportunities, partner's HIV status, deferred responsibility, sexual partner type, and public sex environments. Participants identified ethical obligation, the potential for a dating relationship, timing of disclosure, and bidirectional communication as facilitators of disclosure. Findings can be used for policy development as well as to guide social workers and other healthcare providers' assessment and development of clinical interventions addressing sexual health among HIV-infected MSM as it relates to HIV disclosure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-156
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV disclosure
  • HIV infected MSM
  • Sexual risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)


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