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WHO South East Asia J Public Health. 2013 Jan-Mar;2(1):41-46. doi: 10.4103/2224-3151.115837.

Threat of HIV/AIDS in children: social, education and health consequences among HIV orphans and vulnerable children in Myanmar.

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Department of Medical Research (Lower Myanmar), Yangon, Myanmar.
National AIDS Program, Department of Health, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.



There is very limited information available on HIV related orphans and vulnerable children (HIV-OVC) in Myanmar. Hence, the objective of this study was to identify and compare the social, education and health consequences among HIV-OVC and children from the families not related to HIV in the same neighbourhoods (neighbouring children).


A cross-sectional, comparative survey was carried out in three geographical locations. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with guardians and children using a pretested structured questionnaire including Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) for behavioural problems. Outcome measures were compared using Chi-squared test or 't' test or 'Rank-sum' test.


A total of 300 HIV-OVC and 300 neighbouring children were included. A greater number of HIV-OVC than their neighbouring children have experienced family displacement from their original homes (27% and 1%), child/sibling displacement (20% and 2.7%) and family dispersion (20.3% and 1.3%) (P < 0.001). More guardians of HIV-OVC reported that the disease affected their children's education (28.2% and 16.3%; P < 0.05). Fifteen per cent of HIV-OVC and 10.5% of neighbouring children had to work for their families (P < 0.05). Psychological condition was assessed on emotional, conduct, hyperactivity/inattention, peer relationship and prosocial behaviour. A greater number of HIV-OVC were noted in the abnormal category with regard to hyperactivity and prosocial behaviours (P < 0.05).


Higher incidence of social and psychological consequences among HIV-OVC call for more community support programmes and creation of job opportunities to minimize social impact in the affected families. Future programmes should focus on counselling of HIV-OVC and providing psychological support.

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