A longitudinal mixed-methods investigation of masculinity, stigma, and disclosure on men’s ART initiation in South Africa

Engaging and retaining men in HIV care is critical to the success of ending the HIV epidemic, particularly in South Africa where over 7.9 million people live with HIV. Idealized forms of masculinity may impede men’s antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation through non-disclosure of HIV status. This study tests whether men who hold unhelpful idealized beliefs about masculinity have more difficulty disclosing their HIV status, and in turn, are less likely to begin ART, the life-saving medications that reduce HIV transmission rates and keep people with HIV healthy. We will recruit men living with HIV (N = 220) who are newly diagnosed or initiating/re-initiating ART. We will also examine whether, and how, the process of disclosure shifts men’s views of their own masculinity. A subset of men who disclose their HIV status (n = 10) and those who do not disclose (n = 10) will be randomly selected to participate in a qualitative individual interview to explore this question.

Involved Regions: Africa
Involved Countries: South Africa, United States of America (the)

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