Factors contributing to the failure by parents and care givers to disclose the status of children who are HIV positive

Dube, Sibangani (2014-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: HIV and AIDS are developmental challenges the world for Africa, businesses, family and individuals are facing. No single person is immune from the effects of the deadly epidemic. Efforts to fight the pandemic are finally paying off as in many countries the morbidity and the mortality rates are falling; however, the worrying factor is infection rates are increasing particularly among young people. The discovery of Antiretroviral Treatment has brought hope and relief to those infected and nations of the world as people can now live longer as they continue to support their families while contributing to the development of their countries by paying rates and taxes. While efforts to fight off the epidemic are rewarding in some areas, HIV is opening yet other avenues which could potentially undermine the battle against the deadly virus. Due to the availability of ARVs an increasing number of children are being born to HIV positive parents despite the availability of PMTCT programs. The danger is most of these children born to HIV parents are unaware of their own positive status and they are not informed of their infection. Some of these children are sexually active within certain sexual contextual behaviour in Namibia namely early sexual debut, multiple concurrent sexual partners, intergenerational sex, transactional sex, alcohol and substance abuse, low condom use, low risk perception of HIV among young people and low male circumcision. The study objective was to establish why parents are failing to disclose to their children they are HIV positive; parents were facing challenges in telling the truth about their status. Often parents keep HIV as far as possible from these children where they tell them instead they are suffering from some ailments other than the infection. Sadly most children trust the words of their parents and guardians. However, some of the children establish their status from external sources and this is creating problems in the families with some giving up on ARVs, while there are incidences of them taking their own lives. The study found often parents even if they want to disclose they do not have the skills and knowledge. Sadly most parents are not aware of the dangers of their failure to disclose to their children. Their focus is based on the narrow interest of keeping the child in the dark not knowing the young person could be spreading HIV or defaulting on treatment since they do not fully understand why they are taking such medication. As the way forward guidelines on disclosure should be made available to help parents and guardians act responsible. In addition instead of training limited personnel in the public and NGO sector the attention should focus on the care giving role. In addition the topic on disclosure should be extended to the media to keep the debate going in view of limited resources.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: MIV en vigs hou ernstige ontwikkelingsuitdagings in wat die wêreld, besighede, familie en individue in die gesig staar. Geen enkele persoon is immuun teen die gevolge van die dodelike epidemie nie. Pogings om die epidemie te beveg is uiteindelik besig om positiewe uitslae te wys aangesien die sterftesyfer in baie lande daal, maar die kommerwekkende faktor is dat die infeksiekoers veral onder jong mense styg. Die ontdekking van anti-retrovirale behandeling het hoop en verligting gebring aan diegene wat ge-infekteer is, mense kan nou langer leef en voortgaan om hul families te ondersteun en bydra tot die ontwikkeling van hul lande deur die betaling van belasting en tariewe. Terwyl pogings om die epidemie te beveg dividende werp in sommige gebiede, is MIV besig om ander moontlikhede, wat die stryd teen die dodelike virus potensieel kon ondermyn, te ontbloot. As gevolg van die beskikbaarheid van ARVs skenk meer en meer MIV-positiewe ouers geboorte and kinders ten spyte van die beskikbaarheid van voorkoming van ma-tot-kind infeksie- programme. Die gevaar is dat die meeste van hierdie kinders wat van MIV-positiewe ouers gebore is, is onbewus van hul eie MIV-positiewe status as hul ouers of voogde nie vir hulle die waarheid vertel nie. Sommige van hierdie kinders is reeds seksueel aktief met inagneming van die feit dat daar sekere seksuele gedrag in Namibië geobserweer kan word, naamlik vroeë seksuele debuut, verskeie gelyktydige seksmaats, intergenerasie seks, transaksionele seks, alkohol en dwelmmisbruik, lae gebruik van kondome, lae risiko persepsie van MIV onder jong mense en 'n lae voorkoms van manlike besnyding. Die studie se doel was om uit te vind waarom ouers nie hulle kinders vertel dat hulle MIV- positief is nie. Dikwels hou ouers MIV so ver as moontlik van hierdie kinders dat hulle sê hulle ly aan 'n ander siekte as MIV. Ongelukkig vertrou die meeste kinders die woorde van hul ouers of voogde. Maar 'n paar van die kinders vind uit oor hul status van eksterne bronne, en dit skep probleme in die families met 'n paar wat ARVs opgegee het, ander neem hul eie lewens. Die studie het gevind dat baie ouers, selfs as hulle wil bekend maak het hulle nie die vaardighede en kennis om dit te doen nie. Ongelukkig is die meeste ouers nie bewus van die gevare van hulle versuim om hulle status te openbaar aan hul kinders. Hul fokus is gebaseer om die kind vir so lank as moontlik in die duister te hou, nie wetend dat hierdie kind kan MIV versprei of nie sy medikasie gereeld neem nie. Vir die pad vorentoe moet riglyne oor die bekendmaking beskikbaar gestel word om ouers en voogde te help. Daarbenewens, in plaas van om 'n beperkte hoeveelheid personeel in die openbare en regeringsektor op te lei, moet die bekendmaking uitgerol word aan almal. Benewens, die onderwerp oor die bekendmaking moet uitgebrei word in die media om die debat aan die gang, in die lig van die beperkte hulpbronne, te kry en te hou.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86350
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