Background. HIV disclosure from parent to child is a complex and challenging issue that needs to be approached carefully. Little is known about how parents prepare for and perform disclosure to children in resource-poor nations and what resources are needed. This study was conducted to describe the lived experiences of HIV-positive parents and their children during the disclosure process in Kenya.
Methods. This qualitative phenomenological study's data was collected using in-depth semi-structured interviews with 34 participants consisting of HIV-positive parents, HIV-positive and negative children, and healthcare professionals. The Van Kaam method was used to analyze the data.
Results. Parents take years to prepare for disclosure, proceeding when they perceive themselves capable and ready; and their children are receptive to the news. Preparation activities include thinking about and making disclosure plans, reading information, teaching children about the disease without disclosure while improving the parent-child relationship, praying regularly and attending religious activities, seeking counseling, and attending support group meetings.
Conclusion. Parents perform a number of activities to get themselves and their children ready for disclosure. These activities are crucial in the timely delivery of disclosure. Understanding the importance of these activities helps healthcare professionals assist parents to deliver disclosure faster after diagnosis of illness.