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AIDS Educ Prev. 2007 Oct;19(5):383-95.

Education and nutritional status of orphans and children of HIV-infected parents in Kenya.

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Demographic and Health Research Division, Macro International Inc., 11785 Beltsville Dr., Calverton, MD 20705, USA.


We examined whether orphaned and fostered children and children of HIV-infected parents are disadvantaged in schooling, nutrition, and health care. We analyzed data on 2,756 children aged 0-4 years and 4,172 children aged 6-14 years included in the 2003 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey, with linked anonymous HIV testing, using multivariate logistic regression. Results indicate that orphans, fostered children, and children of HIV-infected parents are significantly less likely to attend school than non-orphaned/non-fostered children of HIV-negative parents. Children of HIV-infected parents are more likely to be underweight and wasted, and less likely to receive medical care for ARI and diarrhea. Children of HIV-negative single mothers are also disadvantaged on most indicators. The findings highlight the need to expand child welfare programs to include not only orphans but also fostered children, children of single mothers, and children of HIV-infected parents, who tend to be equally, if not more, disadvantaged.

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