AIDS in the family and community: The impact on child health in Malawi

Type Journal Article - Social Science and Medicine
Title AIDS in the family and community: The impact on child health in Malawi
Volume 71
Issue 5
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
Page numbers 966-974
Pediatric HIV infections jeopardize children’s health and survival. Much less is known about how the experiences of being orphaned, living with chronically ill parents, or living in a severely affected community impact child health. Our study responds by examining which HIV/AIDS-related experiences place children at greatest risk for poor health. Data from the 2004–2005 Malawi Integrated Household Survey were analyzed using logistic multilevel modeling to examine whether HIV/AIDS-related experiences within the family and community predicted reported health status among children age 6–17 years. We found higher burdens of acute and chronic morbidity for children whose parents have an AIDS-related illness. No other AIDS-related exposure, including orphanhood and recent household deaths, demonstrated a clear relationship with health status. Children living with sick parents may be at increased risk due to the spread of infectious disease and receiving limited adult care. Community home-based care programs are best situated to identify children in these difficult circumstances and to mitigate their disadvantage.

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