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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Health, Culture and Society
Title A couple’s marital disharmony and its psychological effects on their children during the HIV disclosure process in Kenya
Volume 8
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 34-47
URL http://hcs.pitt.edu/ojs/index.php/hcs/article/viewFile/166/240
Limited published data exists on how HIV-positive couples perform disclosure of their illnesses to all
their children. An HIV-positive couple’s disclosure experience to all their five children is presented.
They participated in a larger study conducted to understand the lived experiences of HIV-positive
parents and their children during the disclosure process in Kenya. Each underwent an individualized
in-depth semi-structured interview. Their interviews were transcribed and transferred into NVivo 8 for
analysis using the Van Kaam method. Three themes emerged which included HIV testing, full
disclosure delivery to children accompanied by marital disharmony, and negative post-disclosure
psychological effects on the family. Marital disharmony and non-involvement of the father in
dislcosure-related activities caused the mother to fully disclose their illnesses to their four oldest
children. The children were affected by disclosure; one had a delayed emotional outburst directed at
her father and another was still angry and withdrawn eight years later. As a result, the couple and
their four oldest children were hesitant to fully disclose to the youngest son/brother. HIV-positive
couples with poor relationships within their families, need intense counseling and support pre, during,
and post-disclosure to improve outcomes in all family members.

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