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AIDS Research and Treatment
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3458684, 11 pages
Research Article

Disclosure of Parental HIV Status to Children: Experiences of Adults Receiving Antiretroviral Treatment at an Urban Clinic in Kampala, Uganda

1Makerere University College of Health Sciences, School of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing, P.O. Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda
2Makerere University School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy Planning and Management, P.O. Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda
3Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Makerere College of Health Sciences, P.O. Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda

Correspondence should be addressed to Charles Peter Osingada

Received 28 June 2017; Accepted 28 September 2017; Published 25 October 2017

Academic Editor: David Katzenstein

Copyright © 2017 Charles Peter Osingada et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Limited data are available on the experiences of parental HIV disclosure to children in Uganda. We conducted a qualitative study comprising sixteen in-depth interviews and four focus group discussions with parents receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy. Analysis was done using Atlas.ti qualitative research software. Back-and-forth triangulation was done between transcripts of the in-depth interviews and focus group discussions, and themes and subthemes were developed. Barriers to parents’ disclosure included perceptions that children are too young to understand what HIV infection means and fears of secondary disclosure by the children. Immediate outcomes of disclosure included children getting scared and crying, although such instances often gave way to more enduring positive experiences for the parents, such as support in adherence to medical care, help in household chores, and a decrease in financial demands from the children. Country-specific interventions are needed to improve the process of parental HIV disclosure to children and this should encompass preparation on how to deal with the immediate psychological challenges associated with the parent’s disclosure.