Disclosure to HIV-infected children regarding their diagnosis is important as expanding numbers of HIV-infected children attain adolescence and may become sexually active. HIV disclosure is an important step towards long-term disease management and necessary for the transition from paediatric care into adolescent and adult care settings.
This was a cross sectional study carried out in 144 caregivers of Children and adolescents aged between 6 to 16 years of age attending the pediatric ART clinic. The subjects were enrolled consecutively and were interviewed using a structured questionnaire after taking written informed consent. The questionnaire included information on the demographic details, the disclosure status of HIV infection in children and perceptions about disclosure of status to the child.
The mean age of children was 11.40 ± 2.86 years. Although 93.8% of caregivers believed children should know their HIV status, the prevalence of disclosure to the child was only 33.3%. Disclosure had been done primarily by caregivers (72.9%). Caregivers reported that (22.9%) children self-disclosed. Majority of caregivers felt 10-12 years as the appropriate age for disclosing the HIV infection status. Most of children 89.6% acquired HIV through vertical transmission. Majority of care givers 83.3% believed that care givers are most suitable person for disclosure. Furthermore, in our study 66.7 % children were unaware of this HIV status and most common reason (92.7%) for their non disclosure was child does not understand about illness and others to be 82.3% did not disclose as child may tell secret to others and 66.7 % child is too young to understand the disease. There was increase in drug compliance 47.9% and improvement in behaviour 12.5 % noticed in children.
Conclusion: In our study prevalence of HIV disclosure was 33.3 % there was increase in drug compliance, improvement in behaviour, school performance and attendance. Most common reason for their non disclosure was child does not understand illness and child may tell secret to others.
A. Hemal Sr.,