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Sociodemographic profile and health status of children living with HIV–AIDS attached to an NGO (ADHAR) of Ahmedabad city

Nilesh Thakor, Rajendra N. Gadhavi, Pradip Damor, Ushma Baranda, Samir Bhagora, Nisarg Patel.

Background: Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has emerged as one of the most serious public health problems in India.

Objectives: This study was conducted (1) to study the sociodemographic profile of children living with HIV/ AIDS, (2) to study health profile in detail of children living with HIV/AIDS, and (3) to study and find out the route of transmission.

Materials and Methods: It was a cross-sectional study. A semi-structured and pretested pro forma was used to interview and examine HIV+ children. Prior verbal and written consent was taken from parents of children. This study included 90 HIV+ children (5–14 years) related to ADHAR, an NGO of Ahmedabad city, during the month of April to June 2011.

Results: This study included 90 HIV+ children (age range, 5–14 years; 53% female and 47% male). Of them, 65 (72.2%) were in 5–9 years (primary school) age group; 30% were school dropouts. Majority of children (51, 56.7%) belonged to social class 4. Fifty-nine (65.5%) children had both parents infected with HIV. In 63% cases, only parents knew HIV-positive status of their children, and in 37% cases parents as well as others (friends, teachers, and other relatives) knew the HIV-positive status. Twenty-three (25.5%) children had poor hygiene habits. Mothers of 40% and fathers of 25.6% children were illiterate. Sixty (66.6%) children were receiving antiretroviral therapy. The overall prevalence of malnutrition in this study was 20%. Twenty-two (24.4%) children had signs of vitamin B complex deficiency. Prevalence of anemia in these children was 62.2%.

Conclusion: Poor nutritional status, hygiene, and various nutritional deficiencies among these children need great attention and health education needs to be imparted.

Key words: HIV, AIDS, pediatric HIV, sociodemographic profile, ART

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