Self-disclosure of HIV status among youth living with HIV: A global systematic review


Self-disclosure of HIV serostatus by youth has been considered an essential component of HIV prevention and medication adherence efforts. Therefore, a comprehensive investigation of disclosure goals, processes, and outcomes is warranted. We conducted a global systematic review in accordance with the 2015 Preferred Items for Reporting Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis tool to assess HIV self-disclosure among youth ages 13-24. We identified 5881 articles during our initial search. After screening titles and abstracts and examining articles in greater detail, 33 studies (35 articles) were included in the synthesis. The disclosure process model was used to highlight antecedent goals to self-disclosure including common avoidance goals such as fear of rejection and isolation. While disclosure was associated with negative and positive emotional outcomes and improved medication adherence, there remain concerns regarding the impact of self-disclosure on sexual behaviors. Implications for practice and future directions for research are presented.PROSPERO registration number: CRD42018097250


Gabbidon K, Chenneville T, Peless T, Sheared-Evans S




  • Determinants of Health
    • Social support
    • Stigma/discrimination
    • Abuse
  • Population(s)
    • Children or Youth (less than 18 years old)
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Treatment
  • Prevention
    • Sexual risk behaviour
  • Mental Health
    • Depression


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