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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 601-606

Disclosure of human immune deficiency virus status to infected children at a tertiary hospital in North-western Nigeria

1 Department of Community Medicine, Kaduna State University, Kaduna State, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatrics, Federal Medical Center, Katsina, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Bilkisu Nwankwo
Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaduna State University, Kaduna State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/NJM.NJM_119_21

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Background: With the advent of highly active anti-retroviral therapy, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected children are surviving into adolescence and adulthood. Disclosure of HIV-positive status is important for the life-long management of HIV. However, disclosing HIV-positive status is a challenging task due to the associated blame, shame, and potential stigma. Aim: The aim of this study is to assess the prevalence of disclosure to HIV-infected children and associated factors in a tertiary hospital in North-west Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was carried out. Fifty-two parents/caregivers were interviewed using a pretested interviewer-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire had three sections: sociodemographic characteristics of caregivers, child's profile, and determinants of disclosure of HIV status. Data were collected and analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 21, and results were presented using the tables. The Chi-square test was used to test for the association. Fisher's exact test was used where conditions for the Chi-square test were not met. P < 0.05 was statistically significant. Results: The prevalence of disclosure of HIV-positive status to HIV-infected children was 32.7%. Children's age (P = 0.003) and their level of education (P = <0.001) had significant associations with the disclosure. The most common (9, 52.9%) reason given for disclosure was persistent questioning of caregivers about reasons for taking medication despite not being ill. Conclusion: The prevalence of HIV status disclosure to HIV-positive children was low in this study. Health-care workers can provide support to encourage and better prepare parents/caregivers for the process of disclosure.

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