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HIV-exposed children account for more than half of 24-month mortality in Botswana.

HIV-exposed children account for more than half of 24-month mortality in Botswana.
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Zash R, Souda S, Leidner J, Ribaudo H, Binda K, Moyo S, Powis KM, Petlo C, Mmalane M, Makhema J, Essex M, Lockman S, Shapiro R,


Zash R, Souda S, Leidner J, Ribaudo H, Binda K, Moyo S, Powis KM, Petlo C, Mmalane M, Makhema J, Essex M, Lockman S, Shapiro R, (click to view)

Zash R, Souda S, Leidner J, Ribaudo H, Binda K, Moyo S, Powis KM, Petlo C, Mmalane M, Makhema J, Essex M, Lockman S, Shapiro R,

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BMC pediatrics 2016 07 2116() 103 doi 10.1186/s12887-016-0635-5

Abstract
BACKGROUND
The contribution of HIV-exposure to childhood mortality in a setting with widespread antiretroviral treatment (ART) availability has not been determined.

METHODS
From January 2012 to March 2013, mothers were enrolled within 48 h of delivery at 5 government postpartum wards in Botswana. Participants were followed by phone 1-3 monthly for 24 months. Risk factors for 24-month survival were assessed by Cox proportional hazards modeling.

RESULTS
Three thousand mothers (1499 HIV-infected) and their 3033 children (1515 HIV-exposed) were enrolled. During pregnancy 58 % received three-drug ART, 23 % received zidovudine alone, 11 % received no antiretrovirals (8 % unknown); 2.1 % of children were HIV-infected by 24 months. Vital status at 24 months was known for 3018 (99.5 %) children; 106 (3.5 %) died including 12 (38 %) HIV-infected, 70 (4.7 %) HIV-exposed uninfected, and 24 (1.6 %) HIV-unexposed. Risk factors for mortality were child HIV-infection (aHR 22.6, 95 % CI 10.7, 47.5 %), child HIV-exposure (aHR 2.7, 95 % CI 1.7, 4.5) and maternal death (aHR 8.9, 95 % CI 2.1, 37.1). Replacement feeding predicted mortality when modeled separately from HIV-exposure (aHR 2.3, 95 % CI 1.5, 3.6), but colinearity with HIV-exposure status precluded investigation of its independent effect. Applied at the population level (26 % maternal HIV prevalence), an estimated 52 % of child mortality occurs among HIV-exposed or HIV-infected children.

CONCLUSIONS
In a programmatic setting with high maternal HIV prevalence and widespread maternal and child ART availability, HIV-exposed and HIV-infected children still account for most deaths at 24 months. Lack of breastfeeding was a likely contributor to excess mortality among HIV-exposed children.

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