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HIV/AIDS: Disclosure Dilemmas

  • By: Kami Kosenko
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS face various medical, social, and legal challenges. A once fatal diagnosis, HIV is no longer a death sentence for those with access to care and antivirals. Social progress, however, has lingered behind these medical advancements. Individuals with HIV/AIDS still encounter stigma and discrimination and, as a result, experience various communicative quandaries. For example, people living with HIV/AIDS must decide if, who, when, and how much to tell about their medical issues. The U.S. justice system has even weighed in on the issue. As of 2013, nondisclosure of HIV status to sexual partners is a crime in 32 states and two U.S. territories.

Despite the threat of criminal charges and convictions, many individuals with HIV/AIDS do not disclose to relational partners, such as ...

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