Purpose: To examine the current literature about HIV-affected families in regard to knowledge development and priorities for future research.
Significance: The current view of HIV focuses largely on HIV-infected individuals. There is a paucity of relevant research and a need to make explicit the priorities for knowledge generation about HIV-affected families.
Scope: HIV family literature, 1980-1996, was reviewed and categorized and serves as the context for presenting future priorities for knowledge generation about HIV-affected families. Priorities identified were designing and testing family-level services; determining epidemiology of the phenomenon of HIV family caregiving; who gives care and why, what caregivers do, the outcomes of caregiving, quality of family care, and relationships
Conclusions: A critical need is to address in-depth the problems that have limited knowledge development about HIV-affected families. This explication of issues and questions to understand HIV-affected families can stimulate future research.