A report, published in PLoS One, found that disclosure of human immunodeficiency (HIV) status improved adherence to clinic visits and self-representation in patients living with HIV in eastern Uganda.
Given their observations, the study authors suggested that individuals with HIV should be encouraged to disclose their HIV status with ongoing counselling. “Our findings strengthen the practice to encourage disclosure of HIV status in HIV programming,” summarized lead study author Jonathan Izudi, PhD.
The analysis was performed on data from a large antiretroviral (ART) clinic in eastern Uganda. Participants with disclosed HIV status were matched to those with undisclosed HIV status based on propensity scores. The primary endpoints were adherence to scheduled follow-ups and the occurrence of patient representation (participants having someone else pick-up their medication). Researchers calculated that disclosed HIV status in patients was associated with significantly improved adherence to clinic visits (odds ratio [OR] = 1.63, 95% CI 1.13–2.36) and reduced patient representation (OR = O.49, 95% CI, 0.32–0.76).
The article acknowledged that use of secondary data was a notable limitation in the analysis, as it is prone to inaccuracies, and also prevented the investigators from examining reasons for non-disclosure of HIV status. Additionally, the study’s design did not consider other confounding variables during the review period, such as patients’ scheduling of visits, functional status, and comorbidities, among others.
Researchers concluded that improvements in both adherence to clinic visits and patient self-representation can be added to other benefits associated with HIV status disclosure, like improved ART adherence, care retention, and chance of viral suppression, and reiterated the value of encouraging disclosure in patients with HIV.
Source: PLoS One