Talking to children about their HIV diagnosis: a discussion rooted in different global perspectives

Warburton, Katie orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8205-2853, Navér, Lars, Houghton, Juliet and Fatikhova, Kamila (2022) Talking to children about their HIV diagnosis: a discussion rooted in different global perspectives. British Journal of Nursing, 31 (1). S4-S9. ISSN 0966-0461

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An online meeting was arranged with four professionals representing four countries to debate current practices and future steps in naming HIV to children (disclosing HIV status). This article considers the evidence and reports on the commentary and debate from the meeting. Naming HIV to children remains a challenge. Although studies identify some of the facilitators and barriers to informing children of their HIV diagnosis, further review of practice is required. This article presents a global perspective of naming practices from different settings. The article comprises commentary and a report of the online debate, along with supporting evidence. The four participating authors concluded that health professionals must work in collaboration with families to support early naming of HIV to children or having an open discussion about HIV in clinics. Naming when a child is younger reduces self-stigma and empowers children and young people to adhere to their medication, make informed decisions and share their own diagnosis appropriately. The authors concluded that health professionals play a key role in educating colleagues and the public to reduce stigma and discrimination. Professionals working with children and families living with HIV require support and resources to instil confidence in naming and facilitate naming of HIV status to a child.

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