A pilot study is underway to assess safety and acceptability of an intervention to disclose their HIV infection status to status-naïve pediatric antiretroviral therapy patients in Hispaniola [the island shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic (DR)]. Of 22 Haiti and 47 DR caregivers recruited to date, 68.2% Haiti and 34.0% DR caregivers had clinically significant depressive symptomatology at the time of enrollment (p = 0.008). Depressive symptom prevalence was higher in Haiti caregivers who were female (81.3% vs. 0 in males; p = 0.02) and in DR caregivers who were patients' mothers (50.0%) or grandmothers (66.7%; 56.0% combined) than others (9.1%), (p < 0.001). Internalized stigma was more commonly reported by Haiti (85.7%) than DR (53.2%; p = 0.01) caregivers; 56.4% of Haiti and DR caregivers reporting internalized stigma vs. 26.1% of caregivers denying it had depressive symptoms (p = 0.02). Depression is common in Hispaniola caregivers possibly affecting disclosure timing. Study participation presents opportunities for addressing caregiver depression.
Keywords: HIV; antiretroviral therapy; caregivers; depression; disclosure; mother-to-child transmission.
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