Socio-demographic profile of HIV infected children accessing care at pediatric clinic of a tertiary level hospital in North India

Ramesh Chand Chauhan, Neelima Singh


Background: An increasing number of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infected children are being identified and registered for Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART). The parents of HIV infected children are more likely to die and thus render the children orphan. The socio-demographic characteristics of children with HIV infection are different than the other children of the same age group. So it is important to describe the socio-demographic characteristics of HIV infected children and ascertain factors associated with orphan-hood.

Methods: During 2010-11, a hospital based descriptive study was done where one hundred fifty six children registered at the pediatric chest clinic of a tertiary care hospital in Delhi and their caregivers were included in the study. Semi-structured, pretested interview schedule was used for data collection through face to face interview.

Results: Nearly half of the children were in age group of 5-9 years (mean age 8.1 ± 3.45 years) and two-thirds (73.3%) were male. In 66% of children both parents were HIV infected, in 17.3% cases either parent was infected.  None of the parent was reported to be HIV positive in 16.7% of children. The prevalence of orphan-hood was 39.1% with majority as paternal orphans. The primary caregiver was either the surviving parent (82.0%) or extended family members and 87.8% of children were living with their parents/surviving parent.  

Conclusion: The prevalence of orphan-hood among the HIV-positive children was high. It might lead to significant health consequence for the children. Larger community-based studies are needed to determine the true magnitude of orphan-hood. 


HIV, Children, Demographic profile

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