As the HIV epidemic enters its third decade, it remains one of the most pressing health issues of our time. Many aspects of the disease remain under-researched and inadequate attention has been given to the implications for the relationships and daily lives of those affected by HIV. Disclosing an HIV diagnosis remains a decision process fraught with difficulty and despite encouraging medical advances, an HIV diagnosis creates significant anxiety and distress about one's health, self-identity, and close relationships.
This book provides an overarching view of existing research on privacy and disclosure while bringing together two significant areas: self-disclosure as a communication process and the social/relational consequences of HIV/AIDS. The unifying framework is communication privacy management and the focus of this volume is on private voluntary relational disclosure as opposed to forced or public disclosure. Utilizing numerous interviews with HIV patients and their families, the authors examine disclosure in a variety of social contexts, including relationships with intimate partners, families, friends, health workers, and coworkers. Of note are the examinations of predictors of willingness to disclose HIV infection, the message features of disclosure, and the consequences of both disclosure and non-disclosure.
This volume, with its personal exercises and sources of additional information, offers an invaluable resource for individuals living with HIV and their significant others, as well as for professionals in the fields of health communication, social and health psychology, family therapy, clinical and counseling psychology, relationship research, infectious disease, and social service.