Clinic-Based Pediatric Disclosure Intervention Trial Improves Pediatric HIV Status Disclosure in Ghana

Elijah Paintsil, Tassos C. Kyriakides, Sampson Antwi, Lorna Renner, Justin S. Nichols, Kofi Amissah, Jonas T. Kusah, Amina Alhassan, Irene P. Ofori, Ann C. Catlin, Geliang Gan, Margaret Lartey, Nancy R. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background:Disclosing HIV status to HIV-positive children is a major challenge facing families and health care providers. Despite recommendations for disclosure, rates remain low. We tested whether a pediatric HIV disclosure intervention delivered as an integral component of routine HIV health care in Ghana would improve disclosure to children.Methods:Dyads of HIV-infected children aged 7-18 years and their caregivers were enrolled from 2 HIV clinics in Accra and Kumasi, Ghana. The sites were randomly assigned to one of the 2 intervention arms to avoid treatment contamination between intervention and control participants. Trained interventionist used theory-guided therapeutic communication and personalized interaction to promote disclosure. Disclosure outcomes were measured at 12-week intervals. All analyses were completed using a modified intention-to-treat approach.Results:We enrolled 446 child-caregiver dyads (N = 240 intervention group; N = 206 control group); 52% of the children were boys, mean age 9.78 (±2.27) years. For disclosure at 1 year, a better overall treatment effect was observed (P < 0.001). Children in the treatment group had greater disclosure at each time point (P < 0.001) and a higher proportion of them had been disclosed to by 1 year (51.4% vs. 16.2%; P < 0.001; un-adjusted hazard ratio = 3.98: 95% confidence interval: 2.63 to 6.03) and 3 years (71.3% vs. 34.0%; unadjusted hazard ratio = 4.21: 95% confidence interval: 3.09 to 5.72). In the multivariate Cox model, factors associated with disclosure were treatment group (P < 0.001), children <11 years of age (P < 0.001), HIV-infected caregivers (P = 0.015), and caregiver's with greater education (P = 0.022).Conclusions:This practical clinic-based disclosure intervention shows excellent promise as a means of improving HIV pediatric disclosure outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-131
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • Ghana
  • HIV
  • disclosure
  • intervention
  • pediatric
  • site random assignment
  • trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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