Secondary Disclosure of Parental HIV Status Among Children Affected by AIDS in Henan, China

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Abstract

For children affected by AIDS, one psychological challenge is whether or how to disclose their parents' HIV status to others (secondary disclosure). The current study, utilizing data from 962 rural children affected by AIDS in central China, examines children's perceptions regarding secondary disclosure (intention of disclosure, openness, and negative feelings) and their association with children's demographic and psychosocial factors. The findings indicated that a high proportion of children preferred not to disclose parental HIV status to others, would not like to tell the truth to others in the situations of having to talk about parental HIV, and also had strong negative feelings about the disclosure. The study findings confirmed that keeping secrecy of parental HIV infection was associated with higher level of negative psychological outcomes (e.g., depression, loneliness, perceived stigma, and enacted stigma), and children's age was strongly associated with both their perceptions of secondary disclosure and psychological measures.

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