Psychosocial and economic aspects of HIV/AIDS and counselling of caretakers of HIV-infected children in Uganda.

Department of Health Care and Culture, Faculty of Medicine, Vrije Universiteit, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
AIDS Care (Impact Factor: 1.6). 11/2000; 12(5):535-40. DOI:10.1080/095401200750003725
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The knowledge that her child is infected puts a heavy emotional burden on a mother. Despair or depression lead to difficulties in reacting to the options and advice given by health workers. The compliance of the mother also is largely dependent on her acceptance of the HIV status of the child. Additionally, the belief that the child might die any moment may cause her not to take proper care of the child anymore. Worries of the caretakers are frequently related to poverty. Counselling of caretakers at the health centre could and should be an important element in care for HIV-infected children. Psychological and material support and advice concerning HIV infection, proper childcare and material problems may empower the caretakers. This may lead to a better follow-up of the child by health care workers and to increased compliance of and better care by the caretaker, which will improve life and survival of an infected child.

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    ABSTRACT: In Rwanda, the dual vectors of HIV and legacy of the 1994 genocide have had devastating consequences for children and families. In this and other low-resource settings, extreme poverty, poor access to services, family conflict, and other adversities put children and families affected by HIV/AIDS at increased risk of mental health problems. However, even in the face of tremendous hardship, many children and families demonstrate better than expected outcomes. To design interventions that harness these natural sources of resilience, greater knowledge of local protective processes is needed. This study used free listing exercises (N = 68) and key informant interviews (N = 58) with adults and children (ages 10-17) to investigate strengths and sources of resilience in Rwandan children and families at risk for psychosocial difficulties due to HIV/AIDS. Clinician key informants (N = 10) were also interviewed. Five forms of protective resources emerged through this research: perseverance (kwihangana); self-esteem/self-confidence (kwigirira ikizere); family unity/trust (kwizerana); good parenting (kurera neza) and collective/communal support (ubufasha abaturage batanga). Operating within individual, family, and collective/community systems, these resources support children at multiple ecological levels. Study evidence suggests that these protective processes provide "leverage points" for strengths-based interventions designed to increase resilient outcomes and prevent mental health problems. This information on culturally-appropriate practices for building resilience, along with input from local community advisory boards and the government, has informed the development of a Family Strengthening Intervention, which has broad applications to many forms of adversity and trauma.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 07/2011; 73(5):693-701. · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: HIV infection among children, particularly those under 24 months of age, is often rapidly progressive; as a result guidelines recommend earlier access to combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) for HIV infected children. Losses to follow-up (LTFU) and death in the interval between diagnosis and initiation of ART profoundly limit this strategy. This study explores correlates of LTFU and death prior to ART initiation among children. METHODS: The study is based on 337 HIV-infected children enrolled into care at an urban centre in The Gambia, including those alive and in care when antiretroviral therapy became available and those who enrolled later. Children were followed until they started ART, died, transferred to another facility, or were LTFU. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to determine the hazard of death or LTFU according to the baseline characteristics of the children. RESULTS: Overall, 223 children were assessed as eligible for ART based on their clinical and/or immunological status among whom 73 (32.7%) started treatment, 15 (6.7%) requested transfer to another health facility, 105 (47.1%) and 30 (13.5%) were lost to follow-up and died respectively without starting ART. The median survival following eligibility for children who died without starting treatment was 2.8 months (IQR: 0.9, 5.8) with over half (60%) of all deaths occurring at home. ART-eligible children less than 2 years of age and those in WHO stage 3 or 4 were significantly more likely to be LTFU when compared with their respective comparison groups. The overall pre-treatment mortality rate was 25.7 per 100 child-years of follow-up (95% CI 19.9, 36.8) and the loss to programme rate was 115.7 per 100 child-years of follow-up (95% CI 98.8, 137). In the multivariable Cox proportional hazard model, significant independent predictors of loss to programme were being less than 2 years of age and WHO stage 3 or 4. The Adjusted Hazard Ratio (AHR) for loss to programme was 2.06 (95% CI 1.12 -- 3.83) for being aged less than 2 years relative to being 5 years of age or older and 1.92 (95% CI 1.05 - 3.53) for being in WHO stage 3 or 4 relative to WHO stage 1 or 2. CONCLUSIONS: Earlier enrolment into HIV care is key to achieving better outcomes for HIV infected children in developing countries. Developing strategies to ensure early diagnosis, elimination of obstacles to prompt initiation of therapy and instituting measures to reduce losses to follow-up, will improve the overall outcomes of HIV-infected children.
    AIDS Research and Therapy 10/2012; 9(1):28. · 2.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Building on earlier works demonstrating the effectiveness and acceptability of provider-initiated counselling and testing (PITC) services in integrated outpatient departments of urban primary healthcare clinics (PHCs), this study seeks to understand the relative utility of PITC services for identifying clients with early-stage HIV-related disease compared to traditional voluntary testing and counselling (VCT) services. We additionally seek to determine whether there are any significant differences in the clinical and demographic profile of PITC and VCT clients. Methods: Routinely collected, de-identified data were collated from two cohorts of HIV-positive patients referred for HIV treatment, either from PITC or VCT in seven urban-integrated PHCs. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to compare the two cohorts across demographic and clinical characteristics at enrolment. Results: Forty-five per cent of clients diagnosed via PITC had CD4<200, and more than 70% (i.e. two thirds) had CD4<350 at enrolment, with significantly lower CD4 counts than that of VCT clients (p<0.001). PITC clients were more likely to be male (p=0.0005) and less likely to have secondary or tertiary education (p<0.0001). Among those who were initiated on antiretroviral therapy (ART), PITC clients had lower odds of initiating treatment within four weeks of enrolment into HIV care (adjusted odds ratio, or AOR: 0.86; 95% confidence interval, or CI: 0.75-0.99; p=0.035) and significantly lower odds of retention in care at six months (AOR: 0.84; CI: 0.77-0.99; p=0.004). Conclusions: In Lusaka, Zambia, large numbers of individuals with late-stage HIV are being incidentally diagnosed in outpatient settings. Our findings suggest that PITC in this setting does not facilitate more timely diagnosis and referral to care but rather act as a "safety net" for individuals who are unwilling or unable to seek testing independently. Further work is needed to document the way provision of clinic-based services can be strengthened and linked to community-based interventions and to address socio-cultural norms and socio-economic status that underpin healthcare-seeking behaviour.
    Journal of the International AIDS Society 01/2012; 15(2):17352. · 3.94 Impact Factor


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