Online Program

Healthcare professionals' perspectives on HIV disclosure of a parent's and a child's illness in Kenya

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

Grace Gachanja, PhD, MPH, RN, College of Health Sciences, Walden University, Minneapolis, MN
Gary J. Burkholder Jr., PhD, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and College of Health Sciences, Walden University, Minneapolis, MN
Aimee Ferraro, PhD, MPH, College of Health Sciences, Walden University, Minneapolis, MN
Background: Many HIV-affected families have both parent(s) and child(ren) infected. HIV disclosure to children continues to be a great global challenge for HIV-positive parents and healthcare professionals (HCPs); parents and HCPs differ on how and when to disclose to children.

Methods: Six HCPs including a physician, clinical officer, psychologist, registered nurse, social worker, and a peer educator participated in a larger qualitative phenomenological study conducted to describe the lived experiences of HIV-positive parents and their children during the disclosure process in Kenya. Each HCP underwent an in-depth, semi-structured interview; transcribed data were analyzed using the modified Van Kaam method in NVivo8.

Results:Despite HCPs providing parents with regular advice on the benefits of HIV disclosure, fear of stigma, discrimination, and disclosure consequences caused parents to delay disclosure of a parent’s and/or a child’s illness to their HIV-negative and positive children respectively for lengthy periods. While awaiting parental consent for full disclosure, HCPs were forced to provide age-appropriate disease-related information to children. HCPs preference however, was to fully disclose to children in their parents’ presence at the clinic, when children started asking questions and/or displayed maturity and understanding of the illness.

Conclusion: Parents are known to prefer disclosing to their children at a time and place of their choosing. Conversely, it appears that HCPs may prefer to disclose to children when they judge the time as being right. For favorable disclosure outcomes, further studies are needed to reconcile the most suitable timing, setting, and person to disclose to HIV-positive and negative children.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe healthcare professionals' preferences on how HIV disclosure should be performed to children.

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Community Health Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the primary researcher who planned, collected data, and performed data analysis for this study. I have conducted HIV research and published my findings from the research in international peer-reviewed journals. I have also presented my research at the annual American Public Health Association conferences. My research interest lies in HIV disclosure of a parent's and a child's illness to HIV-positive and negative children.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 5106.0: HIV/AIDS in Africa