Showing posts with label HIV/AIDS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HIV/AIDS. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

HIV & Child Mental Health: A Case-Control Study in Rwanda

Pediatrics Editorial Board Member Joann Schulte, DO, MPH, shares her expert perspective on a new article from our August issue. To learn more about Dr. Schulte and her work in general pediatrics and preventive medicine, check out her bio on our Contributors page.

By: Joann Schulte, DO, MPH
Photo by Julien Harneis via Flickr

Every pediatric practice has such children: She might be an older sister of an ex-preemie who gets short shrift of maternal time because her mother spends much of the week taking the infant to an endless series of medical appointments. Maybe he is the 5-year-old who had a kidney transplant and now seems to do nothing but fight with the younger brother who was once his constant companion.

Chronic medical conditions impact siblings and families. So it is not surprising that the stigma of HIV influences not only the children and adults who are infected with the virus, but also children who are affected by HIV, but not infected themselves.

The topic was explored in a study published in the August issue of Pediatrics and studied children aged 10 to 17 years in Rwanda. Betancourt et al. (doi: 10.1542/ peds.2013-2734) found HIV-affected children were more likely to be depressed, anxious and have conduct problems than their counterparts who were either HIV-infected or HIV-negative.

Researchers enrolled 683 children of whom 218 were HIV-infected, 228 HIV-affected (negative for HIV but with family members infected) and 237 were HIV-unaffected (HIV negative and no family members infected). The study was a collaboration between faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health, the Rwandan Ministry of Health and Partner in Health, a Boston-based NGO.

What does this mean for you? The healthy children in your practice whose siblings have chronic illness have their counterparts in Rwanda. Dealing with mental health is an issue, no matter what chronic illnesses impact children or what language they speak.

Related Reading: 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Five-Year Report from the Pediatric AIDS Corps

By: Lewis First, MD, MS

In 2005, the Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) created a global health corps—the Pediatric AIDS Corps (PAC) to provide clinical and educational programs to bring better AIDS care to parts of the world where it was most needed.
Students in the Central African Republic learning about HIV/AIDS
Photo by Pierre Holtz for UNICEF via Flickr

Schutze et al. (doi: 10.1542/ peds.2013-2938) have compiled five years’ worth of evaluative descriptive data combined with surveys of PAC physicians to help us better understand the importance of this remarkable program and the magnitude of its accomplishments in such a short period of time.

One comes away from this special article appreciating the global health work of the PAC and wanting to know more about how to expand its work even more—perhaps at a national level, given the positive outcomes being obtained. Journey with the PAC team by reading this five-year report and learning more.

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