• conceptual definition;
  • disease trajectory;
  • family;
  • family interventions;
  • family nursing practice;



This article presents a discussion on the role of family interventions in HIV/AIDS disease prevention and care.


Although HIV/AIDS epidemic and its impact on the society traditionally has been measured in terms of individual risk behaviours and individual-level HIV prevention, HIV/AIDS family-focused prevention and management strategies are increasingly becoming a priority. However, little is known as to what constitutes a HIV/AIDS family intervention.

Data sources

The search was limited to English and published literature starting in the year 1983 to date. CINAHL and PubMed were emphasized using a combination of text words and subject headings. Cochrane Library, PsycInfo, Scopus, and the ISI Web of Science databases were also searched using keywords and in the case of PsycInfo, subject headings were used. The main keywords were ‘nurse’, or ‘nursing’, ‘HIV/AIDS’, ‘family interventions’, ‘family support’ and ‘family education’, and/or ‘family subsystems’.


The process of theorizing about ‘family interventions’ and ‘HIV/AIDS-family interventions’ is critical for putting forth essential components unique for designing culturally specific HIV/AIDS family interventions. In addition, any proposed design of HIV/AIDS family intervention should consider the impact of HIV/AIDS on the family across the family life span, disease trajectory, and from an interdisciplinary perspective.


Training needs of family nurses should be met when designing multidisciplinary HIV/AIDS-FIs. Furthermore, nurses should be proactive in advocating for HIV/AIDS family intervention and HIV/AIDS family policies to improve outcomes in family functioning, processes, and relationships. More needs to be done in regard to research on families, family interventions, effectiveness, and cost of family-focused approaches.