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AIDS Care. 2011 Sep;23(9):1053-8. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2011.554523. Epub 2011 May 24.

Disclosure of HIV status to infected children in a Nigerian HIV Care Programme.

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Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.


With increasing survival of HIV-infected children, parents face the challenges of disclosure to the children. The aim of this study was to assess the rate of HIV disclosure to children in Ibadan and the factors influencing it in order to guide design of strategies for successful disclosure. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to consecutive consenting caregivers of HIV-infected children aged ≥6 years attending the Paediatric Infectious Disease Clinic of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, between November 2008 and October 2009. Caregivers of 96 children (46 boys, 50 girls) infected with HIV were interviewed. The ages of the children ranged from 6 to 14 years with a mean (SD) of 8.8 (2.2) years. Disclosure had been done in only 13 (13.5%) of the children; ages at disclosure ranged from 4.5 to 13 years with a mean of 8.7 (SD = 2.2). Disclosure was associated with age above 10 years. Reasons given by carers for non-disclosure in 83 caregivers included inability of the children to understand in 53 (63.9%), fear of disclosure to other children 34 (41.0%), fear of disclosure to family/friends in 28 (33.7%), fear of psychological disturbance of the children in 26 (31.3%) and fear of blaming the parents in 22 (26.5%). Twenty (20.8%) of the children have asked questions relating to their diagnosis and the responses are often evasive. Caregivers felt disclosure had helped adherence to antiretroviral therapy in 7 (63.6%) of the 11 children on antiretroviral drugs in whom there was disclosure but no effect on the remaining. There is a need to assist parents and health care providers in successfully disclosing HIV status to infected children without adverse consequences.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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