Epilogue: Looking to the Future
of Disclosure and HIV
In this book we have presented information about how individuals with HIV and those close to them manage disclosure decisions using a CPM perspective. We first examined the criteria or rules people develop to manage these decisions to disclose an HIV diagnosis. Next, we looked to the features of the actual HIV disclosure messages. Finally, we reviewed the consequences or outcomes for decisions to disclose an HIV diagnosis or to maintain privacy. This epilogue explores what the future may hold for research on HIV disclosure. The last section of the book (Appendix, after the Epilogue) presents resources for people dealing with these HIV disclosure issues.
There have been dozens, possibly hundreds, of therapies explored for AIDS, but in the U. S. at present there are 15 agents in 3 classes of drugs (Sepkowitz, 2001). Since 1995, new treatments, such as HAART, hold promise for changes in life quality for some people with HIV HAART attacks the HIV virus, allowing a person's immune system to repair itself and fight opportunistic infections (Bartlett & Gallant, 2001; Epstein & Chen, 2002; Hammer, 2002). It is important to continue to monitor HAART side effects (Allen, 2002), as the medications have not been studied long-term and the side effects likely influence medication adherence. At the XIV International AIDS Conference, many researchers presented studies on treatments, including a new class of antiretrovirals called/imon inhibitors (T-20) as well as other drugs such as experimental integrease inhibitors (see Kresge, 2002). Many individuals with HIV using HAART or other treatments are living longer with delayed or perhaps even no progression to AIDS, and this may change the way they process disclosure decisions. For some, these new treatments may decrease disclosure, as many previously only disclosed or sought help when very ill (e.g., Hays, Chauncey etal., 1990; Hays etal., 1993). In the same vein, individuals with HIV may feel they are healthier and do not need