• Vimbai Mavangira University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Tanusha Raniga University of KwaZulu-Natal


The psycho-social impact of HIV on perinatally infected children has been overlooked by policy makers internationally and nationally. This study explored the psycho-social experiences of perinatally HIV-infected adolescents who were residing in child and youth care centres in Gauteng in South Africa. The article adopts a social constructionist lens to discuss their biographical profile as well as four themes: knowledge and feelings towards mother; dealing with secrecy and disclosure; the way social networks affect treatment adherence; and interactions with health and social services. The paper concludes with some suggestions for health and social service professionals to help these adolescents navigate through this phase of their lives.

Author Biographies

Vimbai Mavangira, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Social Work PractitionerUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal
Tanusha Raniga, University of KwaZulu-Natal
LecturerUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal


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