NYMC Faculty Publications


Patterns and Correlates of Serostatus Disclosure to Sexual Partners by Perinatally-infected Adolescents and Young Adults

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2017




Similar to same-age peers, perinatally HIV-infected (PHIV+) youth in the US are engaging in sex, including condomless sex. Understanding decisions about serostatus disclosure to sexual partners is important to domestic and global HIV prevention efforts, since large numbers of PHIV+ children are entering adolescence and becoming sexually active. Using Social Action Theory (SAT) to inform variable selection, we examined correlates of disclosure among 98 PHIV+ adolescents/young adults in New York City. Over half of these youth reported not disclosing to any casual partners (59 %) or to any partners when using condoms (55 %). In bivariate analyses, increased disclosure was associated with older age; being female; earlier age of learning one's serostatus; and increased STD knowledge, disclosure intentions, and parent-child communication. Multiple regression analyses revealed a strong fit with the SAT model. As with adults, disclosure to sexual partners is difficult for PHIV+ youth and challenges prevention efforts. Effective interventions that help youth with disclosure decisions are needed to curb the epidemic.