Children and adolescents are affected in different ways by HIV/AIDS. Neurocognitive deficits are one of the most significant long term effects on HIV infected children and adolescents. Several factors are thought to influence cognitive outcomes and this include immune status, Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART), education and social support. The aim of the study was to assess the neurocognitive function of HIV infected children and adolescents and correlate it with psychosocial factors. A cross sectional study was carried out involving a sample of 90 children living with HIV between 8 and 15 years (M = 11.38, SD = 2.06) attending Comprehensive Care Clinic (CCC) at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH). Samples were selected by using purposive sample technique. Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children-Second Edition was used to assess cognitive function and psychosocial issues were assessed using HEADS-ED. Data was analyzed using SPSS v23 and independent T-tests, Pearson’s correlation and linear regression were used. The prevalence of neurocognitive deficits among HIV positive children attending CCC at KNH was 60% with neurocognitive performance of 54 children being at least 2SD below the mean based on the KABC-II scores. There was no significant correlation between mental processing index and CD4 count (Pearson’s rho = −0.01, p = 0.39). There was no significant association between Mental Processing Index and viral load (p = 0.056) and early ARV initiation (0.27). Using the HEADS-ED, risks factors related to education (β = −5.67, p = 0.02) and activities and peer support (β = −9.1, p = 0.002) were significantly associated with poor neurocognitive performance. Neurocognitive deficits are prevalent among HIV positive children attending CCC-KNH. This extent of the deficits was not associated with low CD4 count, high viral load or early initiation in HIV care. However, poor school performance and problem with peers was associated with poor neurocognitive performance.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||AIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV|
|Publication status||Published - 4 May 2018|
- Children and adolescents
- neurocognitive assessment
- psychosocial difficulties