Journal of Community Health

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 112–120 | Cite as

HIV Sero-Status Non-disclosure Among HIV-Infected Opioid-Dependent Individuals: The Roles of HIV-Related Stigma, Risk Behavior, and Social Support

  • Roman ShresthaEmail author
  • Frederick L. Altice
  • Brian Sibilio
  • Michael M. Copenhaver
Original Paper


HIV sero-status disclosure among people living with HIV (PLWH) is an important component of preventing HIV transmission to sexual partners. Due to various social, structural, and behavioral challenges, however, many HIV-infected opioid-dependent patients do not disclose their HIV status to all sexual partners. In this analysis, we therefore examined non-disclosure practices and correlates of non-disclosure among high-risk HIV-infected opioid-dependent individuals. HIV-infected opioid-dependent individuals who reported HIV-risk behaviors were enrolled (N = 133) and assessed for HIV disclosure, risk behaviors, health status, antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, HIV stigma, social support and other characteristics. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify significant correlates of non-disclosure. Overall, 23% reported not disclosing their HIV status to sexual partners, who also had high levels of HIV risk: sharing of injection equipment (70.5%) and inconsistent condom use (93.5%). Independent correlates of HIV non-disclosure included: being virally suppressed (aOR 0.19, p = 0.04), high HIV-related stigma (aOR 2.37, p = 0.03), and having multiple sex partners (aOR 5.87, p = 0.04). Furthermore, a significant interaction between HIV-related stigma and living with family/friends suggests that those living with family/friends were more likely to report not disclosing their HIV status when higher levels of perceived stigma was present. Our findings support the need for future interventions to better address the impact of perceived stigma and HIV disclosure as it relates to risk behaviors among opioid-dependents patients in substance abuse treatment settings.


Non-disclosure People living with HIV Opioid-dependent HIV-related stigma HIV risk behavior 



This work was supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for research (R01 DA032290) and for career development (K02 DA033139) to Michael Copenhaver, and K24 DA017072 to Frederick L. Altice.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Ethical Approval

The study protocol was approved by the Investigational Review Board (IRB) at the University of Connecticut and Yale University and received board approval from APT Foundation Inc. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Allied Health SciencesUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and PolicyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  3. 3.Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Infectious DiseasesYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  4. 4.Division of Epidemiology of Microbial DiseasesYale University School of Public HealthNew HavenUSA

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