Quality of life and experiences of HIV infected children towards their adult parenting practices: Unravelling perceptions of HIV/AIDS infected children, at the hospital, and within their families in Uganda
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The field of HIV/AIDS seems to be over researched by academics, health organizations among others, in Uganda. Limited research has used the theories of the new sociologies of childhood and rights based approaches, to understand and assess the experiences and perceptions of HIV infected children towards the way they their related quality of life, amidst multiple adult parenting practices. Most research has been done on children affected by HIV/AIDS (orphans), not directly children living with HIV/AIDS. Thus in this study, I have moved beyond the previous research to emphasising HIV infected children’s remarkable experiences and quality of life, at the hospital and within their families, in Makindye division, Buganda region in Uganda. Children’s experiences with HIV/ AIDS and quality of life, have been investigated, within the families in three areas. That is , family structures, basic needs and culture. While at the hospital, children’s experiences and quality of life, have been illustrated in the services and activities offered at the hospital. The sample of ten HIV infected children, as key informants has been used. Twenty children involved in group discussions, in addition to eight parents and one health social worker. The main theoretical approaches and concepts for the sociology of child hood, and right based approach have been used in the study. Methodologically, qualitative approach has been used, involving triangulation of multiple qualitative research data collection methods The findings presented in this study, indicate that adult parenting practices have a strong bearing on the experiences and quality of life for HIV infected children. Some of these cause miserable experiences and quality of life for children, denying them their rights, and agency as competent actors. Although, some other adult parenting practices, especially at the hospital, and within some homes are good, allow children some freedom, to enjoy better quality of life and life experiences. Some of children’s own practices, allow or restrict their better experiences and quality of life. Other multiple poor conditions also influence children’s or adults actions toward children’s experiences and quality of life. Depending on the nature of their relationship(s), HIV infected children either collaborate, or resist adults to establish their own daily survival strategies to over come bad life experiences and quality of life.