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HIV infection in orphanages in South Western Nigeria

Paediatric Association of Nigeria
Publication Date
  • Hiv
  • Prevalence
  • Children
  • Orphanages
  • Admission Policies
  • Caregivers
  • Medicine


Background: As a result of the expanding HIV epidemic, affected children may end up in institutionalized care. Objectives: To determine the prevalence of HIV infection among children into orphanages in South Western Nigeria . Admission policies, knowledge and attitude of caregivers with respect to HIVwere also assessed Design: This was a cross sectional study in which interviewer administered questionnaires were used to collect information on consecutive children, heads of the orphanages and caregivers. Rapid HIV antibody testing was carried out. Results: A total of 190 children were enrolled from 7 homes with males accounting for 89 (46.8%). The main reasons for admission into the orphanages were; orphaned 85 (44.7%), abandoned 79 (41.6%) and mental illness in mother 11(5.8%). Two children were HIV positive, giving a prevalence rate of 1.05%. All the homes (100%) had a policy which excluded admission of HIV positive children but seldom carried out HIV testing at entry. Fear of disease transmission to others was the reason given for not admitting such children. Conclusion: The policy which excluded admission of HIV infected children may have contributed to the low prevalence of the infection in the orphanages. There needs to be a reform on the current policies in order to reduce discr iminat ion against HIV orphans.Keywords: HIV; Prevalence; Children; Orphanages; Admission policies; Caregivers

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