WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 41-46

Threat of HIV/AIDS in children: social, education and health consequences among HIV orphans and vulnerable children in Myanmar

1 Department of Medical Research (Lower Myanmar), Yangon, Myanmar
2 National AIDS Program, Department of Health, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar

Correspondence Address:
Myo Myo Mon
Epidemiology Research Division, Department of Medical Research (Lower Myanmar), Ministry of Health
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DOI: 10.4103/2224-3151.115837

PMID: 28612822

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Background: There is very limited information available on HIV related orphans and vulnerable children (HIV-OVC) in Myanmar. Hence, the objective of this study was to identify and compare the social, education and health consequences among HIV-OVC and children from the families not related to HIV in the same neighbourhoods (neighbouring children). Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional, comparative survey was carried out in three geographical locations. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with guardians and children using a pretested structured questionnaire including Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) for behavioural problems. Outcome measures were compared using Chi-squared test or 't' test or 'Rank-sum' test. Results: A total of 300 HIV-OVC and 300 neighbouring children were included. A greater number of HIV-OVC than their neighbouring children have experienced family displacement from their original homes (27% and 1%), child/sibling displacement (20% and 2.7%) and family dispersion (20.3% and 1.3%) (P < 0.001). More guardians of HIV-OVC reported that the disease affected their children's education (28.2% and 16.3%; P < 0.05). Fifteen per cent of HIV-OVC and 10.5% of neighbouring children had to work for their families (P < 0.05). Psychological condition was assessed on emotional, conduct, hyperactivity/inattention, peer relationship and prosocial behaviour. A greater number of HIV-OVC were noted in the abnormal category with regard to hyperactivity and prosocial behaviours (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Higher incidence of social and psychological consequences among HIV-OVC call for more community support programmes and creation of job opportunities to minimize social impact in the affected families. Future programmes should focus on counselling of HIV-OVC and providing psychological support.

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