Do People Know I'm Poz?
Factors Associated with Knowledge of Serostatus Among HIV-positive African Americans' Social Network Members
Published in: AIDS and Behavior, v. 20, no. 1, Jan. 2016, p. 137-146
Posted on RAND.org on May 12, 2015
We examined how functional social support, HIV-related discrimination, internalized HIV stigma, and social network structure and composition were cross-sectionally associated with network members' knowledge of respondents' serostatus among 244 HIV-positive African Americans in Los Angeles. Results of a generalized hierarchical linear model indicated people in respondents' networks who were highly trusted, well-known to others (high degree centrality), HIV-positive, or sex partners were more likely to know respondents' HIV serostatus; African American network members were less likely to know respondents' serostatus, as were drug-using partners. Greater internalized stigma among respondents living with HIV was associated with less knowledge of their seropositivity within their social network whereas greater respondent-level HIV discrimination was associated with more knowledge of seropositivity within the network. Additional research is needed to understand the causal mechanisms and mediating processes associated with serostatus disclosure as well as the long-term consequences of disclosure and network members' knowledge of respondents' serostatus.