A cross-sectional study of behavioural disorders in children with human immunodeficiency virus / acquired immuno deficiency syndrome attending an anti-retroviral therapy centre


  • Prasantha Kumar G. Department of Pediatrics, ESIC Medical College, and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Science and Research Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
  • Kumaravel K. S. Department of Pediatrics, Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College, Salem, Tamilnadu, India




Behavioural Problems, Child Behaviour Check List, Human immunodeficiency virus / Acquired immuno deficiency syndrome, Orphans


Background: HIV is a chronic disease which also significantly affects the behavior. This study aims at evaluating behavioral disorders in children with HIV/AIDS.

Methods: This Cross-sectional study utilized the Child Behaviour Check List.

Results: The overall prevalence of borderline and clinically significant behavioral problems were 69.3% (n=104). The prevalence of behavioral disorders were observed in the eight categories - anxious/depressed (borderline-7.7%, clinically significant-18.3%), withdrawn/depressed (6.7%, 18.3%), somatic problems (7.7%, 6.7%), rule-breaking behavior (7.7%, 18.3%), aggressive behavior (10.6%, 21.1%), attention problems (15.4%, 2.9%) and thought problems (9.6%, 2.9%). No social problems were observed. Internalizing problems were common in girls and externalizing problems were common in boys. As age advanced a simple linear progression in prevalence of Behavior Problems was found. There were 47.1% of Orphans in study and behavioral problems were more common in them.

Conclusions: High prevalence of behavioural abnormalities warrants comprehensive management including Behavioural counselling and therapy and not just drugs for these children.


Nath A. Pediatric HIV in India: Current scenario and the way forward. Indian J Public Health. 2017;61(2):124-30.

Sanmaneechai O, Puthanakit T, Louthrenoo O, Sirisanthana V. Growth, developmental, and behavioral outcomes of HIV-affected preschool children in Thailand. J Med Assoc Thai. 2005;88(12):1873-9.

Brown, LK., Lourie, KJ, Pao M. Children and adolescents living with HIV and AIDS: A review. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2000;41(1):81-96.

Fundaro C, Miccinesi N, Baldieri NF, Genovese O, Rendeli C, Segni, G. Cognitive impairment in school-age children with asymptomatic, HIV infection. AIDS Patient Care STDS. 1998;12(2):135-40.

Bos S, Moss H, Brouwers P, Pizzo P, Lorion, R. Psychological adjustment of HIV-infected school age children. J Devel Behavioral Pediatr. 1994;15(3):526-33.

Havens J, Mellins C, Pilowsky D. Mental health issues in HIV-affected women and children. Int Rev Psychiat. 1996;8(2-3):217-25.

Havens J, Whitaker A, Feldman J, Ehrhardt A. Psychiatric morbidity in school-age children with congenital HIV-infection: A pilot study. J Develop Behav Pediatr. 1994;15:S18-25.

Armstrong FD, Seidel JF, Swales TP. Pediatric HIV infection: A neuropsychological and educational challenge. J Learn Disabil. 1993;26(2):92-103.

World Health Organization, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF). Towards universal access: scaling up priority HIV/AIDS interventions in the health sector: progress report 2008. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008. Available at: https://www.who.int/hiv/mediacentre/universal_access_progress_report_en.pdf. Accessed April 2007.

Dalmida SG. Spirituality, mental health, physical health, and health-related quality of life among women with HIV/AIDS: integrating spirituality into mental health care. Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2006;27(2):185-98.

Ayalu A. Reda and Sibhatu Biadgilign, Determinants of Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy among HIV-Infected Patients in Africa. AIDS Res Treat. 2012;2012

Achenbach TM, Edelbrock CS. Child Behavior Profile. Psyc TESTS Dataset. 1979;47(2):223-33.

Rescorla L. Assessment of young children using the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA). Ment Retard Dev Disabil Res Rev.. 2005;11(3):226-237.

Arun S, Singh AK, Lodha R, Kabra SK. Disclosure of the HIV infection status in children. Indian J Pediatr. 2009;76(8):805-8.

Vranda M, Mothi S. Psychosocial issues of children infected with HIV/AIDS. Indian J Psychol Med. 2013;35(1):19.

Leserman J. The effects of depression, stressful life events, social support, and coping on the progression of HIV infection. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2000;2:495-502.

Mendoza R, Hernandez-Reif M, Castillo R, Burgos N, Zhang G, Shor-Posner G. Behavioural symptoms of children with HIV infection living in the Dominican Republic. West Indian Med J. 2007;56(1):55-9.

Grover G, Pensi T, Banerjee T. Behavioural disorders in 6-11-year-old, HIV-infected Indian children. Ann Trop Paediatr. 2007;27(3):215-24.

Musisi S, Kinyanda E. Emotional And Behavioural Disorders In HIV Seropositive Adolescents In Urban Uganda. East Afr Med J. 2009;86(1):16-24.

Burgos N, Hernandez-Reif M, Mendoza R, Castillo R, Shor-Posner G. Caregivers’ perception of HIV-infected Dominican children’s behaviour. West Indian Med J. 2007;56(1):42-7.

Mellins CA, Brackis-Cott E, Leu CS, Elkington KS, Dolezal C, Wiznia A, et al. Rates and types of psychiatric disorders in perinatally human immunodeficiency virus-infected youth and seroreverters. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2009;50(9):1131-8.






Original Research Articles