Play of children living with HIV/AIDS in a low-resourced setting: Perspectives of caregivers

Nyaradzai Munambah*, Elelwani L. Ramugondo, Reinie Cordier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Although play is viewed as a childhood occupation that is spontaneous, it can be limited in children with HIV/AIDS. This study explored the perspectives of caregivers from Zimbabwe on the play of children with HIV/AIDS.

A descriptive qualitative research approach was used to explore the perceptions of caregivers on play of children living with HIV/AIDS. Fifteen caregivers of children aged 4–9 years diagnosed with HIV/AIDS were purposively sampled. Two interviews were carried out with each of the caregivers. Findings were analysed thematically.

Four major themes were generated from the study: ‘Ubuntu is no more’, ‘Survival is primary (chikuru kurarama)’, ‘Play affirms that my child is still like other children’ and ‘More is required for this child’. Although issues of survival were paramount, caregivers were able to highlight the importance of play in affirming childhood, identifying the specific needs for play of children with HIV/AIDS.

Conclusion and Significance
Play, like all other human occupation, is contextually situated. Poverty and health status are key in shaping how families prioritise play. However, the ability to play for a child with HIV/AIDS also seems to mitigate stigma and may disrupt the ‘HIV is death’ narrative.
Original languageEnglish
Article number030802262110265
Pages (from-to)292-300
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number4
Early online date4 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


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