AIDS in the family and community: The impact on child health in Malawi
Social Science and Medicine
McGill University, Canada; Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, United States; Harvard School of Public Health, United States; Family AIDS Caring Trusts, Zimbabwe
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. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
acquired immune deficiency syndrome; child health; disease control; disease spread; health impact; health risk; human immunodeficiency virus; infectious disease; numerical model; risk factor; acquired immune deficiency syndrome; article; asthma; child; child health; childhood injury; chronic disease; community living; death; diarrhea; epilepsy; exposure; family; female; fever; health status; household; human; influenza; major clinical study; malaria; Malawi; male; morbidity; orphaned child; parent; prevalence; respiratory tract disease; respiratory tract infection; risk; schistosomiasis; stomach disease; stomach pain; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Adolescent; Child; Child, Orphaned; Family Health; Female; Health Status; Health Surveys; HIV Infections; Humans; Logistic Models; Malawi; Male; Morbidity; Multilevel Analysis; Parent-Child Relations; Residence Characteristics; Risk Factors; Malawi