Public disclosure of serostatus -- the impact on HIV-positive people. Academic Article uri icon


  • AIDS is steeped in moral judgments about who becomes infected with HIV. Consequently, an AIDS diagnosis inevitably brings with it feelings of shame, guilt, loss, depression, fear of disclosure and some form of self-imposed isolation. Because of the stigma of an HIV-positive diagnosis, people are often reluctant to come forward and be tested, which makes it difficult for them to make informed decisions about their own future and that of their family. Nevertheless, since early in the epidemic, people living with HIV/AIDS have spoken out to present their personal perspectives on living with HIV and to challenge perceptions about who can and cannot become infected. However, there has been little research to explore their role in the global response to AIDS and the impact of public HIV disclosure on the HIV-positive persons themselves.

publication date

  • January 1, 2000