Disclosure of serostatus by HIV infected youth: The experience of the REACH study

Lawrence J. D'Angelo, Sue Ellen Abdalian, Moussa Sarr, Neal Hoffman, Marvin Belzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Purpose: To describe disclosure of HIV serostatus by infected youth to parents and sexual partners and to examine the association of disclosure with subject characteristics. Methods: Baseline data on 317 HIV infected adolescents in national 15 site study were examined. Data sources included direct and computer-assisted interview, laboratory studies, and chart reviews. Examination of parental disclosure was restricted to subjects without parental permission requirements. Concordance in parental disclosure/support used McNemar's test. Associations between disclosure to parent(s) and subject characteristics were examined using logistic regression analysis. Repeated measure analysis was used for sexual partner disclosure.Results: Subjects of both genders more often disclosed their HIV infection status to mothers than to their fathers (77% vs. 47%, p < .001). With disclosure, perceived support from either parent was high. In multivariate analyses, factors associated with maternal disclosure were length of time since diagnosis (OR = 1.43; 95% CI: 1.06-1.92), and Hispanic ethnicity (OR = .37; 95% CI: .15-.95). No factors were significantly associated with paternal disclosure in multivariate analysis, although length of time since diagnosis showed a trend (OR = 1.31; 95% CI: 1.00-1.74). Factors associated with disclosure to sexual partners were partner's HIV+ status (OR = 2.09; 95% CI: 1.11-3.93) and 'main partner' status (OR = 3.17; 95% CI: 1.84-5.46). Conclusions: Although subjects were more likely to reveal their status to their mothers, parental support was perceived as high after disclosure to either parent. Since 'time since diagnosis' was associated with parental disclosure, support systems are necessary for youth until such a disclosure can occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-79
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number3 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Disclosure
  • HIV infection
  • Parental support
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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