HIV and parenting needs to be discussed, new study finds

A team from Royal Holloway University and St. Mary's Hospital, London, interviewed young people aged 18-23 who had transmitted HIV from their mothers – known as 'perinatally acquired HIV' (PAH). Previously most of these children would have died in childhood, but medication in the UK, means they are surviving into early adulthood.

Researchers found that all of the participants wanted to become parents, but they were concerned about having to tell their that they were HIV positive in the future and some were worried about transmitting HIV to their child. In particular, the team found that there was major concern about the effect wanting to have children would have or has already had on their relationships, especially the need to tell their partner they were HIV positive.

"It is clear that the worry to tell partners becomes even more acute when the idea of having children is brought up," said lead author Dr Michael Evangeli from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway.

"These findings will be particularly relevant in sub-Saharan Africa, as there are two million young people between 10 and 19, most of whom have been living with HIV since birth. For many of these young people, becoming parents is a very important part of their culture. Indeed, many of the African participants in our study mentioned the importance of culture in their decisions about having children."

The team has made a number of recommendations in the study for .

"It is essential that we come up with strategies to help young people communicate clearly with their partners about parenting and HIV. Now that children born with HIV are surviving to adulthood, parenting is an urgent issue that needs to be discussed for the well-being of with HIV, their partners and children," added Dr Evangeli.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Preventing one case of HIV saves over $225K, study shows

Feb 27, 2015

How much money would be saved if one high-risk person was prevented from contracting HIV in the United States? A new study led by a researcher at Weill Cornell Medical College and published online Feb. 24 in Medical Care, answer ...

Research captures transient details of HIV genome packaging

Feb 27, 2015

Once HIV-1 has hijacked a host cell to make copies of its own RNA genome and viral proteins, it must assemble these components into new virus particles. The orchestration of this intricate assembly process falls to a viral ...

Could an HIV drug beat strep throat, flesh-eating bacteria?

Feb 25, 2015

With antibiotic resistance on the rise, scientists are looking for innovative ways to combat bacterial infections. The pathogen that causes conditions from strep throat to flesh-eating disease is among them, but scientists ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.