Disclosing Parental Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Status to Children in Ghana: Reasons for and against Disclosure and Effects of Decision


There is limited data regarding HIV disclosure in Ghana. This study sought to examine parental disclosure of HIV status to children, ascertain reasons for disclosure and nondisclosure and also the effects of parents’ decision. 26 parents living with HIV and 21 children were selected in Accra and Cape Coast purposively and conveniently and interviewed. Out of a total of 26 parents living with HIV, the majority numbering 18, made up of two males and 16 females had not disclosed their status. Reasons for nondisclosure included: fear of stigmatization and discrimination; children being too young; not wanting the children to get worried; and children thinking their parents would die. The majority of those, who had done the disclosure, were young. One effect was that most children became sad, after the status of their parents had been disclosed to them. They, however, readjusted and provided support to their parents. Another effect was that the children became knowledgeable or more knowledgeable about HIV and AIDS. In a country, where HIV is seen as a shameful disease, Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV) experience massive stigmatization and discrimination. Intensification of the fight against stigmatization and discrimination and equipping of PLHIV with skills necessary for disclosure are critical.

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Avornyo, R. and Amoah, J. (2014) Disclosing Parental Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Status to Children in Ghana: Reasons for and against Disclosure and Effects of Decision. Advances in Applied Sociology, 4, 205-211. doi: 10.4236/aasoci.2014.49025.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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