XVIII International AIDS Conference


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How to tell the child about HIV/AIDS: the importance of playing tools in the process of disclosure

D. Machado, E. Galano, F.B. Carmo, S.V. Beltrão, A.F.B. Gouvea, E.R.C. Paulino, A.M. Rufino, R.M. Jesus, R.C.d.M. Succi

Federal University of São Paulo, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Division, São Paulo, Brazil

Issues: Despite recommendations worldwide about the importance of HIV disclosure to children living with HIV/AIDS, one highlighted issue has been the most appropriate way to inform the child about his/her HIV status. There are few studies describing the use of playing tools as a strategy to guide this process.
Description: We created a tool to facilitate the process of HIV disclosure in children living with HIV / AIDS. Fifty children from 6 to 11 years old followed at the Pediatric AIDS Outpatient Clinic of the Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil, were enrolled in the study. After medical and psychological evaluation, they were considered ready for the diagnostic disclosure process. Colorful and attractive toys were used such as: one doll, 4 toy soldiers representing CD4+ Tcells, and materials that simulate the medical objects (stethoscope, thermometer, injection), balls similar to HIV, microscope, and representative of other toys diseases.
Lessons learned: The use of the materials showed that young patients were able to assimilate the information about their illness more easily, they could see through toys the mechanisms of action of HIV and the importance of medication in their bodies. Moreover, this strategy has facilitated the decision to disclosure, especially for family members who seemed resistant to talk with children about their HIV status. Finally, the use of the material has enabled a greater interaction between professional and children, because they felt more relieved, satisfied with their performance and comfortable to have an open talk with patients and families during the consultations.
Next steps: Follow-up this group to evaluate if this strategy could modify the care provided to this population, contributing to children´s development and possibly improving adherence to treatment in all its dimensions.

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