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HIV Status Disclosure to Perinatally-Infected Adolescents in Zimbabwe: A Qualitative Study of Adolescent and Healthcare Worker Perspectives

Author (s): 
Khameer K. Kidia, Zivai Mupambireyi, Lucie Cluver, Chiratidzo E. Ndhlovu, Margaret Borok, Rashida A. Ferrand
Publication in: 
Journal pone,2014

Due to the scale up of antiretroviral therapy over the last decade, survival of perinatally-infected children has improved dramatically, enabling them to live into adolescence and beyond. As they do so, the issue of informing adolescents about their HIV status arises, a process termed ‘‘status disclosure’'.Although status disclosure can also refer to the act of a person living with HIV/AIDS sharing his or her status with others (also known as ‘‘public’’ or ‘‘social’’ disclosure), in this paper we solely address the issue of telling adolescents about their status and making this status understood. In the literature on pediatric HIV disclosure, a distinction is often made between ‘‘full’’ and ‘‘partial’’disclosure. In this study, we define full disclosure as having been achieved not only when an adolescent has received all the information about his or her HIV-status but also when he or she entirely understands the ramifications of this information. Knowing one’s HIV status is recognized as an important prerequisite for effective adherence to antiretroviral therapy. Disclosure has also been associated with a reduction in risk behavior.