Home|Journals|Articles by Year|Audio Abstracts

Original Research

Prevalence and predictors of undernutrition in HIV-infected children on antiretroviral therapy in Abakaliki, Southeast Nigeria

Maria-Lauretta Chito Orji, Nnamdi Benson Onyire, James Olisaluka Ojukwu, Chinwe Dorothy Obu.


Background: The introduction of antiretroviral therapy (ART) to HIV medicine has dramatically improved the quality of care of HIV-infected children, translating to better nutritional status and general well-being. However, many HIV-infected children especially in sub-Saharan Africa, despite being on ART are malnourished.

Objective: The study was done to determine the prevalence and predictors of undernutrition among HIV-infected children on ART in Abakaliki.

Materials and Methods: It was a case–control study with a sample size of 220 (110 HIV infected and 110 HIV negative children as controls) aged 2–17 years. Anthropometric indicators expressed in Z scores were used to define malnutrition: Height for age (stunting) and weight for age (underweight) and weight for height (thinness). A structured questionnaire was used to obtain socio-demographic characteristics and drug adherence.

Results: The prevalence rates of underweight and stunting were 24.5% and 20.0% in HIV-infected children as against the prevalence rates of 10.0% and 6.4% for underweight and stunting, respectively, found in HIV negative children. These prevalence rates were statistically significant (P = 0.002 and P = 0.001, respectively). Occupation of caregivers (P = 0.000, P = 0.000), drug adherence (P = 0.001, P = 0.000), and WHO clinical stages of disease (P = 0.002, P = 0.000) were statistically significant predicted the presence of underweight and stunting, respectively, in HIV-infected children on ART.

Conclusion: The prevalence of undernutrition is high among children on ART. Nutritional support as well as strengthening adherence to ART is strongly advocated as part of routine care in HIV-infected children on ART.

Key words: Adherence; Nutritional Support; Stunting; Underweight; HIV-infected Children; Antiretroviral Therapy

Full-text options

Share this Article

Online Article Submission
• ejmanager.com

ejPort - eJManager.com
Review(er)s Central
About BiblioMed
License Information
Terms & Conditions
Privacy Policy
Contact Us

The articles in Bibliomed are open access articles licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.