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AIDS Care. 2015;27 Suppl 1:18-27. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2015.1007116.

HIV knowledge, stigma, and illness beliefs among pediatric caregivers in Ghana who have not disclosed their child's HIV status.

Author information

1
a Departments of Pediatrics, Pharmacology & Public Health , Yale School of Medicine , New Haven , CT , USA.
2
b Department of Child Health , University of Ghana School of Medicine and Dentistry , Accra , Ghana.
3
c Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital , Accra , Ghana.
4
d Department of Child Health, School of Medical Sciences , Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology , Kumasi , Ghana.
5
e Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital , Kumasi , Ghana.
6
f Yale Center for Analytical Sciences , Yale School of Public Health , New Haven , CT , USA.
7
g Yale School of Nursing , West Haven , CT , USA.

Abstract

The majority of HIV-infected children in sub-Saharan Africa have not been informed of their HIV status. Caregivers are reluctant to disclose HIV status to their children because of concern about the child's ability to understand, parental sense of guilt, and fear of social rejection and isolation. We hypothesized that the low prevalence of pediatric HIV disclosure in Ghana is due to lack of accurate HIV information and high HIV stigma among caregivers. This is a preliminary analysis of baseline data of an HIV pediatric disclosure intervention study in Ghana ("Sankofa"). "Sankofa" - is a two-arm randomized controlled clinical trial comparing disclosure intervention plus usual care (intervention arm) vs usual care (control arm) at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH; control arm) and Komfo-Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH; intervention arm). We enrolled HIV-infected children, ages 7-18 years who do not know their HIV status, and their caregivers. Baseline data of caregivers included demographic characteristics; Brief HIV Knowledge Questionnaire (HIV-KQ-18); Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire; and HIV Stigma Scale. Simple and multivariable linear regression analyses were used to assess the relationship between caregiver characteristics and HIV knowledge, stigma, and illness perception. Two hundred and ninety-eight caregivers were enrolled between January 2013 and July 2014 at the two study sites; KBTH (n = 167) and KATH (n = 131). The median age of caregivers was 41 years; 80.5% of them were female and about 60% of caregivers were HIV-positive. Seventy-eight percent of caregivers were self-employed with low household income. In both unadjusted and adjusted analyses, HIV negative status and lower level of education were associated with poor scores on HIV-KQ. HIV positive status remained significant for higher level of stigma in the adjusted analyses. None of the caregiver's characteristics predicted caregiver's illness perception. Intensification of HIV education in schools and targeted community campaigns are needed.

KEYWORDS:

bioecological systems theory; disclosure; illness perception; knowledge; pediatric HIV; stigma

PMID:
26616122
PMCID:
PMC4665118
DOI:
10.1080/09540121.2015.1007116
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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