Child: care, health and development 2017 10 19() doi 10.1111/cch.12533
Child development is negatively impacted by HIV with children that are infected and affected by HIV performing worse than their peers in cognitive assessments.
We conducted a descriptive follow-up comparison study (n=989) in South Africa and Malawi. We tracked child development in 135 HIV-positive children compared to 854 uninfected children aged 4-13 years attending community-based organizations at baseline and again 12-15 months later.
Children with HIV were more often stunted (58.8% vs. 27.4%) and underweight (18.7% vs. 7.1%). They also had significantly poorer general physical functioning (M=93.37 vs. M=97.00). HIV-positive children scored significantly lower on digit span and the draw-a-person task.
These data clearly show that HIV infection poses a serious risk for child development and that there is a need for scaled up interventions. Community-based services may be ideally placed to accommodate such provision and deliver urgently needed support to these children.