HIV-negative children’s experiences and opinions towards parental HIV disclosure: a qualitative study in China

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa


In HIV/AIDS research, few studies to date have evaluated ways to improve parental HIV disclosure practices using feedback from HIV-negative children who have recently experienced this event. We conducted semi-structured in-depth interviews with 20 children (aged 6–15) who were partially to fully aware of their parents’ HIV status in rural Guangxi, China. Of the 20 children, eight children who were of older age (11.38 years in average) endorsed parental HIV disclosure, five discouraged it and seven expressed uncertainty. Children’s different experiences and attitudes towards disclosure were seen to be associated with their family dynamics (especially the parent–child relationship), social support and care, experiences of stigma and discrimination, psychosocial suffering, comprehension of the disease and the children’s age. Our study contributes to building a child-centered comprehensive understanding for Chinese parental HIV disclosure. It is imperative that counselors and community advocates assess and help parents achieve optimal readiness preceding disclosure of their illness to their HIV-negative children.


Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies