Disclosure of maternal HIV status to children: considerations for research and practice in Sub-Sahara Africa
An estimated 2.8 million children are born to HIV-infected mothers each year, 2.5 million of whom are likely to be HIV-exposed but uninfected. In sub-Saharan Africa up to 40% of pregnant women are HIV-infected, resulting in large numbers of HIV-uninfected children living with at least one HIV-infected parent. These parents face many challenges, including the dilemma of when and how to disclose their HIV status to their children, particularly those who are pre-adolescent. This article summarizes the current evidence on maternal HIV disclosure to their HIV-uninfected children, explores the reported benefits of disclosure to children and mothers, highlights the gaps in knowledge and areas for future research, and discusses possible future intervention models focusing on primary school-aged children in sub-Saharan Africa.