Using decision tree analysis to understand the influence of social networks on disclosure of HIV infection status

Gwang Suk Kim, Mi So Shim, Jeongmin Yi

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Disclosure of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection status improves treatment adherence and HIV prevention. Social networks influence such disclosure by people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH). This study aimed to investigate the disclosure status of Korean PLWH and determine the social network characteristics associated with disclosure. A cross-sectional study design was used, and 148 Korean PLWH answered self-report questionnaires that included items on the characteristics of social networks and disclosure. Logistic regression and decision tree analysis were performed. In total, 81 participants (54.7%) reported disclosing HIV status to the most important supporter. Five factors were found to influence disclosure: age, self-help group participation, living arrangement, social network relationship, and tie strength; three groups had higher percentages of nondisclosure. The findings suggest that healthcare practitioners should provide adequate counseling by considering the characteristics of social networks and disclosure status of PLWH. Researchers should identify high-risk populations using decision tree analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-126
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea [grant numbers NRF-2015R1D1A1A01057423, 2020R1A2C101081712] and a research program from the Yonsei University College of Nursing [grant number 6-2017-0125]. We thank all the PLWH who participated in our study and the nurses and physicians who cooperated with the research. This study was performed in line with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. The authors express our gratitude to Dr. Chang Gi Park, who gave professional advice on research methodology. The previous study from which data were used had obtained approval from the institutional review board of the institution to which the researcher belonged (IRB No: 2015-0040), and additional approval was obtained for the secondary analysis (IRB No: Y-2017-0088). Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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