Sero-skeptics: Discussions between test counselors and their clients about sexual partner HIV status disclosure

Nicolas Sheon, Seung Hee Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the current emphasis in the US on HIV testing and serostatus disclosure as HIV-prevention strategies, little is known about men who have sex with men's (MSM) perceptions of serostatus disclosure by sexual partners. This study used conversation analysis to examine recordings of HIV-test counseling sessions in order to understand how counselors and clients conceptualize and discuss sex partners' disclosure of HIV status. Of 50 test sessions audio-recorded in four publicly funded sites in Northern California, 47 sessions included a discussion about sexual partners' serostatus disclosure, in the vast majority of these (91.5%), counselors and clients avoided directly asserting their knowledge of partners' serostatus. Throughout the discussions, counselors and clients co-constructed the sense of distrust, uncertainty and unknowability of partners' serostatus. The implications of our findings for evaluating the effectiveness of HIV status disclosure as a prevention strategy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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