• HIV disclosure in the workplace among people living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria

      Adeoye, Dorcas Ibukun (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-12)
      Background: HIV/AIDS is an infectious, chronic condition that may have several physical and psychosocial consequences for those affected (Peter, 2011). Advances in HIV treatment have improved the prognosis for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and their overall health. As a result, PLWHA can be employed for longer whilst they manage their condition. There is evidence that people with infectious diseases, and especially HIV/AIDS, are being stigmatised. Stigmatisation or the fear of being stigmatised can affect the ways or whether the affected person would disclose their disease to their social or professional networks. There is currently very little known about disclosure in the workplace and especially for PLWHA who are employed in Nigeria. Main aim: This research explores HIV disclosure in the workplace among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Nigeria. Methodology: This study is into two phases: the first phase used a systematic review whilst the second phase a qualitative method. The systematic review collected and synthesised research-based evidence on HIV/AIDS disclosure in Nigeria. The qualitative approach used face-to-face semi-structured interviews with 20 employed PLWHA who had been diagnosed with HIV for more than six months before the time of recruitment in the study. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Main findings: Fourteen studies (n=14) met the inclusion criteria of the systematic review. Twenty participants (n=20) were included in the qualitative study, both male (n=7) and female iv (n=13) patients accessing HIV treatment from one hospital in Nigeria. The findings of the systematic review showed that following disclosure, a large number of respondents received support from their partners, while others reported negative reactions from their partners after the disclosure of their HIV positive status. These negative reactions included violence/assault, accusation of infidelity and divorce. Meanwhile, the qualitative findings show that PLWHA did not disclose their HIV status in the workplace and they remained in the ‘default position of non-disclosure’ because of the fear of being stigmatised, or because of concerns about their privacy and issues related to confidentiality. Some participants did not have the choice to decide whether they want to disclose in the workplace or not, because of reasons such as workplace regulation and policy, or running out of excuses. Those who disclosed their HIV positive status did so because they received workplace support/work adjustment. The workplace support/work adjustments include flexible work arrangements and requests for time off work to receive treatment in the hospital. HIV-related stigma, loss of job, and offensive remarks/gossip were reported as post-disclosure consequences in the workplace. This study showed that the reactions after HIV disclosure are not predictable both with their social or their professional networks. Conclusion: Although, no generalisable conclusions can be made from this qualitative research, this study has provided an understanding of individual’s perceptions and experiences in relation to HIV disclosure in the Nigerian workplace. This research has implications for policy, organisations and practice.