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AIDS. 1994 May;8(5):673-9.

AIDS orphans in Kinshasa, Zaïre: incidence and socioeconomic consequences.

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1
Project SIDA, Department of Public Health, Kinshasa, Zaïre.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the incidence, morbidity, mortality, and socioeconomic consequences of becoming an AIDS orphan (a child with an HIV-1-seropositive mother who has died) in Kinshasa, Zaïre.

DESIGN:

A longitudinal cohort study was undertaken between 1986 and 1990. Within this cohort, a nested case-control study of AIDS orphans was performed. AIDS orphan cases were children with an HIV-1-seropositive mother who had died. Two groups of control children were identified. The first group of control children were age-matched children with HIV-1-seropositive mothers who were alive at the time of death of the AIDS orphan case mother. The second group of control children were children with HIV-1-seronegative mothers who were also alive at the time of death of the AIDS orphan case mother.

SETTING:

Obstetric ward and follow-up clinic at two large municipal hospitals in Kinshasa, Zaïre.

PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 466 HIV-1-seropositive women, their children, and the fathers of these children; 606 HIV-1-seronegative women, their children, and the fathers of these children.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

AIDS orphan incidence, HIV-1 vertical transmission rate, morbidity, mortality and socioeconomic indicators of the consequences of becoming an AIDS orphan.

RESULTS:

The AIDS orphan incidence rate was 8.2 per 100 HIV-1-seropositive women-years of follow-up. Vertical transmission of HIV-1 was higher in AIDS orphan cases (41%) than in control children with HIV-1-seropositive mothers (26%; P < 0.05). Among children without vertically acquired HIV-1 infection, morbidity rates and indices of social and economic well-being were similar in AIDS orphans and control children. Five out of 26 (19%) AIDS orphan cases died during follow-up, compared with three out of 52 (6%) control children (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION:

During a 3-year follow-up period, children with HIV-1-seropositive mothers had a considerable risk of becoming an AIDS orphan. However, the presence of a concerned extended family appeared to minimize any adverse health and socioeconomic effects experienced by orphan children.

PMID:
8060547
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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