Originally Published In
Gachanja, G. (2015). A couple’s marital disharmony and its psychological effects on their children. Health, Culture and Society, 8, 1 | ISSN 2161-6590 (online) | DOI 10.5195/hcs.2015.166 | http://hcs.pitt.edu
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Limited published data exists on how HIV-positive parents perform disclosure to all their children. A couple’s HIV disclosure experience to all their 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. Each underwent individualized in-depth semi-structured interviews. Interviews were transcribed and transferred into NVivo 8 for analysis using the Van Kaam method. Three themes emerged including HIV testing, full disclosure delivery accompanied by marital disharmony, and postdisclosure psychological effects on the family. Marital disharmony and non-involvement of the father caused the mother to fully disclose their illnesses to their four oldest children. All children were affected by disclosure, one had a delayed emotional outburst, and another was still angry and withdrawn years later. HIV-positive parents with poor relationships within the families need intense counseling and support pre, during, and post-disclosure to improve outcomes