Social Work Practice with Children with Perinatally-Infected with HIV: Considerations Regarding Diagnostic Disclosure


The development of antiretroviral therapies (ARTs) has significantly lengthened the lifespan and changed the life course of most individuals infected with HIV and AIDS in the United States. Furthermore, ART use during pregnancy has significantly reduced the rate of mother-to-child (perinatal) HIV transmission. While perinatal infection rates among children in the United States have declined since the 1990s, ART regimens became standard treatment protocol, there remains a population of children entering adolescence who were born with HIV-positive. This paper discusses: 1) the importance of diagnostic disclosure of HIV and AIDS status to infected children, 2) stigma and the disclosure process with children, and 3) the role of clinical social workers in facilitating the disclosure process.

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