HIV affects the whole family. Counselling is needed when the diagnosis is made and for some time afterwards until the family comes to both accept and disclose the diagnosis. HIV counselling is usually provided by lay counselors. The support of the community is also very important.
Families with AIDS are often very poor with little or no income. The bread winners are often ill or have died. A child may be head of the family. Many children with AIDS, and children from families with AIDS, become orphans. Social services and community organizations need to be involved in the management of children with AIDS. Financial grants may also be needed.
Almost all children with AIDS have parents who are HIV-infected. It is important that the whole family receives good care. In poor communities, the death of a mother often results in the death of her children, even if they are not HIV-infected.
The family of a child with AIDS usually needs emotional, medical and financial support.