The impact of disclosure of mixed HIV status on social support, relationship satisfaction, and psychological distress for male mixed status couples

Jason Daniel Greenberg, Fordham University

Abstract

While most of the research has focused on an individual's disclosure of HIV status to others, and the impact of disclosure of HIV status on sexual behavior, less research has been conducted concerning the disclosure of being in a mixed status couple to others. As there is a scarcity of literature on the disclosure practices by mixed status couples, the purpose of this study was to investigate how disclosure of being in a mixed HIV status couple by partners in a male mixed status couple differs according to HIV status and severity of the infected partner's illness. Furthermore, this study assessed the impact of disclosure of being in a mixed status couple on social support, relationship satisfaction, and emotional distress. Two hundred thirty-eight gay in 119 mixed status couples were interviewed and completed questionnaires as a part of their participation in a longitudinal study for male couples of mixed HIV status. Results revealed that infected partners disclosed being in a mixed status couples more than non-infected partners, and non-infected partners whose infected partner was symptomatic or had an AIDS diagnosis had higher disclosure scores than non-infected partners who partner was asymptomatic. Additionally, the data revealed that for infected partners, a higher disclosure score was associated with greater subjective social integration, greater utilization of community supports, and higher levels of relationship satisfaction. Exploratory analyses also revealed significant relationships between disclosure of being in mixed status couple to specific targets and measures of emotional adjustment. These results have meaningful implications concerning the way in which clinicians work with mixed status couples around the issue of disclosure of being in a mixed status couple, and suggestions for intervening with couple to facilitate discussion on the impact of mixed status disclosure on the partners' and couple's functioning is presented. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Public Health|Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Greenberg, Jason Daniel, "The impact of disclosure of mixed HIV status on social support, relationship satisfaction, and psychological distress for male mixed status couples" (2001). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9999824.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9999824

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