HIV Disclosure in Ghana

The Underlying Gender Dimension to Trust and Care Giving

Fidelia Ohemeng


Missing in the debate of HIV/AIDS-positive disclosures is its gender dimension in terms of those likely to disclose their status, as well as the people in whom they are likely to confide this personal and socially perilous news. This article explores the gender dimension of HIV-positive disclosures through in-depth interviews of 25 AIDS patients receiving treatment at a hospital in Ghana. It argues that the people likely to be informed by AIDS patients of their status are those perceived by the patient to be potential care-givers and more often than not these are females. In other words, unlike in most “Western” countries, gender role expectations do shape HIV-positive disclosures in Ghana.

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