Paediatric HIV/AIDS disclosure: Towards a developmental and process-oriented approach

Lesch A. ; Swartz L. ; Kagee A. ; Moodley K. ; Kafaar Z. ; Myer L. ; Cotton M. (2007)


As antiretroviral therapy becomes more widely available in low-resource settings and children with HIV/AIDS live for longer periods, disclosure of HIV diagnosis to infected children is becoming increasingly important. This article reviews the current literature on HIV-related disclosure in light of theories of cognitive development, and argues for the adoption of a process-oriented approach to discussing HIV with infected children. Disclosure presents unique challenges to healthcare workers and caregivers of children with HIV/AIDS that include controlling the flow of information about the child's HIV status to him/her and deciding on what is in his/her best interest. Health care workers' and caregivers' views regarding disclosure to children may often be contradictory, with healthcare workers likely to support disclosing the diagnosis of HIV/AIDS to children and caregivers more reluctant to discuss the disease with them. There is a clear need for practical interventions to support paediatric HIV disclosure which provide children with age-appropriate information about the disease. © 2007 Taylor & Francis.

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