Children with HIV: An Extensive Review of the Literature 
Pediatric Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome 
(AIDS) effect the entire family, and a broad range of family configurations are 
involved in caring for children that are impacted. Learning that a child is 
HIV-positive is a traumatic event, and disclosing this to the child, family 
members and significant others can be difficult. Families must also cope with 
a wide range of psychosocial concerns that include the stress of dealing with 
chronic illness, anticipatory loss, guilt about transmission to loved ones, 
social isolation, stigma, and discrimination. In addition to the physical trauma 
and psychological stigma of HIV/AID, popular belief has it that AIDS is 
invariably fatal. Families must be assisted by caregivers, and others in the 
mental health profession, to understand the developmental and psychological 
needs of their children. With time, family members generally overcome their 
own feelings of despair and provide the child with love and support. This paper 
discusses the issues that families confront when a child is infected with HIV. 
This paper also includes an overview of the adaptations that are needed when 
a child has HIV infection, and discusses coping strategies for problems 
associated with having a child with HIV. As such, an extensive bibliography 
ought to be helpful to college students and health instructors.