Barker, D. J.; Younger, Novie O.; Moo Sang, Michelle; McKenzie, Colin A.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Tropical Medicine Research Institute
HIV serostatus and recovery from severe childhood malnutrition. A retrospective matched case-control study
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
The world-wide epidemic of Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) has led to an increase in the number of HIV positive children, mainly through perinatal transmission. HIV/AIDS can lead to severe childhood malnutrition (SCM) and has been noted as an increasingly common cause of secondary SCM. In this context, it is important to make assessments of the appropriateness of current approaches to treatment of severe malnutrition in HIV positive children. A retrospective matched case-control study of ten HIV positive children admitted to the Tropical Metabolism Research Unit (TMRU) was conducted. There were few differences between cases and matched controls on admission to the ward. Oral candidiasis and lower respiratory tract infections appeared to occur more frequently, and serum globulin concentrations were significantly higher among HIV positive cases when compared to their controls. Despite the fact that the differences between cases and controls appeared to be small, four cases died; there were no deaths among the controls. The duration of the maintenance phase was approximately five days longer (p = 0.024) among cases than controls but the time between the end of the maintenance phase and discharge from the ward was not significantly longer for the cases. The results of this matched case-control study suggest that there are likely to be important differences between HIV positive and negative patients with SCM that influence risk of mortality and morbidity, particularly in the maintenance phase of treatment. Prospective studies will be required in order to explore these differences and to develop better approaches to the care of HIV positive children with SCM.....