Caring for HIV Positive children: Psychological functioning of care-givers with HIV positive children: a Qualitative study.

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Addis Abeba University


Background: HIV/AIDS is an epidemic infectious illness which affects anyone regardless of age, sex, social class, academic level and race. It has a significant direct or indirect impact not only on the patient but also on the care-givers with significant morbidity, mortality and economic burden. Despite an increased care for the infected individual, the psychological impact of the illness on the care-givers has been undermined specially in low to middle income countries including Ethiopia. To date there have been no studies about the psychological functioning of care-givers raising HIV positive children. Objective: The objective of this study is to explore the psychological functioning of care-givers of HIV positive children following at Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital. Methods: Data was gathered on 14 participants, biological parent and close relative, using semistructured interviews. The interviews were conducted in Amharic, transcribed and then translated into English. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis Result; This finding showed that the care-givers age range from 22-85 and 13 out 14 care-givers were female. Majority of them were at low academic level, low socioeconomic status and have temporary employment. Most of them were biological and single parent and they were also seropositive. The result identified that caregivers experienced emotional pain after hearing the result, persistent or transient maternal guilty, depression, dealing with sero-discordance, discrimination, disclosure concern and change of behaviors in the child. The finding also highlighted the presence of economical struggle, house problem and unemployment on the care-givers. To get through their psychological distress care-givers also used spirituality, hope, getting financial or material support and sharing responsibility with older children as their coping mechanisms. Conclusion; Caring for HIV positive children is found to be psychologically burdensome especially in a resource limited setting. So, having an integrated mental health service for caregivers is unquestionable. Considering the high burden of care-giving in women, it will be very important to involve male care-givers and empower women economically.



HIV ,HIV Positive children,Psychological care-givers with HIV positive children