Variations in pediatric HIV status disclosure between the orphanage and the community in Ethiopia

Hyeon Ju Ryoo*, Priya Hirway, Nicole Alexander-Scott, Peter Locke, Jennifer Greene Welch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Past studies on pediatric HIV disclosure have not investigated the variations across childcare settings. This study explored pediatric HIV disclosure for children living in the community with their birthparents or relatives and those living in orphanages in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to highlight the variations in reasons, processes and outcomes of disclosure across childcare settings. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with children and their caregivers attending an HIV clinic in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Among children living in orphanages, the proportion with disclosure was significantly higher (p < 0.001) and age at disclosure was younger (p = 0.09). Although the proportions of children with unplanned disclosure were similar in orphanages and the community, there were notable differences between children’s experiences. Children living in the community often found out their status alone through exposure to antiretroviral therapy advertisements in the media, unbeknownst to their caregivers and healthcare providers and suffered silently without any support. Orphans, on the other hand, experienced unplanned disclosure after the death of their birthparents and subsequently received significant emotional support. Healthcare professionals need to consider these variations with childcare settings in disclosure processes. Practices in orphanages may be important models for developing adequate support system for caregivers and children in the community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-352
Number of pages14
JournalVulnerable Children and Youth Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2017


  • Ethiopia
  • HIV disclosure
  • childcare settings
  • children
  • psychosocial stressors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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