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Helping children living with HIV (CLH) to attain an optimum quality of life is an important goal for HIV programs around the world. Our principal objectives were to determine the association of HIV infection with different domains of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among 8- to 15-year-old CLH in India and to compare the HRQoL parameters between CLH and HIV-negative children born to HIV-infected parents (“HIV-affected”). We also assessed whether antiretroviral therapy (ART) and CD4 lymphocyte counts were associated with HRQoL among CLH.
Using the “Quality of Life (health-related) of Children Living with HIV/AIDS in India” instrument, we interviewed 199 CLH and 194 HIV-affected children from three districts of West Bengal, India. Participants were asked to quantify the difficulties faced by them in six HRQoL domains: physical, emotional, social, school functioning, symptoms, and discrimination.
The mean age of the participants was 11.6 (SD ± 2.5) years. CLH, compared to HIV-affected children, had poorer scores on all HRQoL domains except ‘discrimination.’ Among CLH, there were no significant differences in HRQoL domain scores (except in the ‘discrimination’ domain) between ART-treated and -untreated groups. CD4 lymphocyte count was found to be a significant positive predictor of the ‘symptom’ scale score.
In India, interventions for CLH mostly focus on biological disease. However, the current study revealed that HRQoL among CLH was much poorer than that of a socio-demographically comparable group. Culturally and developmentally appropriate psychosocial support measures for Indian CLH are urgently needed.
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- Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and its correlates among community-recruited children living with HIV and uninfected children born to HIV-infected parents in West Bengal, India
Abdelmonem A. Afifi
Frank J. Sorvillo
- Springer International Publishing