Disclosure of HIV status and adherence in children to Antiretroviral therapy. A study of Thika district hospital

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Daystar University


Antiretroviral therapy has become widely available to people living HIV/AIDS thus prolonging their lifespan. Disclosure of HIV diagnosis to infected children is therefore increasingly important. Literature on HIV-related disclosure in the light of theories of cognitive development and psychosocial development show that adoption of a process-oriented approach to discussing HIV with infected children improves ART compliance and adherence. This cross-sectional descriptive survey was set out to document levels of disclosure of HIV and Adherence in children and adolescents on antiretroviral therapy (ART) at Thika’s District Hospital Comprehensive Care Clinic (CCC). The study established that 35% of the children knew their HIV positive status whilst (65%) did not know their HIV status. The caregivers felt that children were too young to understand the dynamics of HIV as from transmission to end stage AIDS disease and therefore this fear made them not to disclose the HIV status to their children. For children to adhere, parents did partial disclosure where they would talk about the disease without using its real name but gave children reasons that convinced them to take the ARVS. Contrary to this belief by caregivers that children were too young to understand HIV dynamics, appropriate disclosure of HIV status to a child reduces stigma or anger towards the infected child and their caregivers as the child is able to handle their status, hence have better adherence to ART. HIV infection in children and adolescent therefore remains a highly stigmatized issue that is difficult to discuss with the infected child by their caregivers. Stigma associated with HIV/AIDS leads to poor ART compliance and adherence among infected children and adolescents.



Disclosure of HIV status, Adherence to Antiretroviral therapy, Thika District Hospital, Children


Disclosure of HIV status and adherence in children to Antiretroviral therapy. A study of Thika district hospital. By: Consolata Wahome, Daystar University, 2013.