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Int J Infect Dis. 2009 Jul;13(4):462-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2008.08.017. Epub 2008 Dec 5.

Comparison of socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of orphans and non-orphans among HIV-positive children in Ibadan, Nigeria.

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Department of Paediatrics, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria.



This study was carried out to determine the prevalence of HIV-positive orphans and to compare their socio-demographic and clinical characteristics with HIV-positive non-orphans.


A survey was conducted among patients attending the infectious disease clinic of the Department of Paediatrics, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria between July 2005 and November 2006. Information obtained included demographic data, orphan status, HIV/AIDS status of parents, current caregiver, school enrolment, and clinical parameters at presentation.


Of the 110 children studied (mean age 43.5 months, SD 41.7 months), 58 (52.7%) were male and 74 (67.9%) presented with severe clinical disease, while 68.1% were malnourished. There were 40 orphans, giving a prevalence of 36.4%. Of this number, 13 (32.5%) were paternal orphans, 20 (50%) were maternal orphans, and seven (17.5%) were double orphans. Thirty-five (87.5%) were cared for within the family and none were in institutional care. Compared to non-orphans, orphans tended to be older at presentation (p=0.02). There were no significant differences in school enrolment, clinical stage of the disease, CD4 counts, or mean weight-for-age, weight-for-height, and height-for-age Z-scores at presentation between the two groups.


It appears that the extended family system is currently coping with the orphan situation. There is need for provision of social and economic support to caregivers of children orphaned by AIDS before the family system is overwhelmed.

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