To examine quality of life (QOL) in perinatally HIV-infected (PHIV) or HIV-exposed uninfected (PHEU) vs. healthy HIV-unexposed uninfected (HUU) children during school-age/adolescence.
PHIV infection was diagnosed via DNA PCR. Current HIV status was confirmed by HIV rapid diagnostic test. Three HIV groups were defined: PHIV, PHEU, and HUU. QOL was assessed with proxy and self-report versions of the PedsQL™ 4.0 instrument at 6–18 years of age. QOL scores ranged from zero (least QOL) to 100 (highest QOL) in the following dimensions: combined QOL inventory (CQOLI), multi-dimensional vigor (MDV), general wellbeing (GWB), present functioning, and general cognitive functioning (CF). Multivariable linear regression models estimated HIV-related percent differences (β) in QOL scores and 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Compared to HUU CQOLI deficits ranged from 6.5 to 9.2% (95% CI −15.4, −1.6), GWB deficit ranged from 6.5 to 10.5% (95% CI −16.0, −1.3), MDV deficit ranged from 6.8 to 11.6% (95% CI −14.5, 0.9), and CF deficit ranged from 9.7 to 13.1% for PHIV children. QOL deficits of similar magnitude and direction in most domains were observed for PHIV compared to PHEU. However, self-reported indicators of GWB (β = −3.5; 95% CI −9.0, 2.0) and present functioning (β = 4.0; 95% CI −4.6, 12.5) were similar for PHIV compared to PHEU. QOL scores were generally similar for PHEU compared to HUU.
PHEU and HUU had similar QOL profile but PHIV predicted sustained deficits in multiple QOL domains. PHIV and PHEU children were similar with respect to general wellbeing and present functioning. Psychosocial and scholastic interventions in combination with HIV care are likely to improve QOL in PHIV.