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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 141  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 46-54

Health & nutritional status of HIV infected children in Hyderabad, India

1 National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR), Gandhi Medical College, Hyderabad, India
2 Pediatric Nutrition, Gandhi Medical College, Hyderabad, India

Correspondence Address:
R Hemalatha
Scientist 'E', National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR), Jamai Osmania (PO) Hyderabad 500 007, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-5916.154494

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Background & objectives: Information on nutritional status of HIV infected children from India is lacking and is required before taking up nutritional supplementation trials. Thus, the aim of the present study was to assess the growth and morbidity status of HIV infected children over a period of one year in a city in southern India. m0 ethods: This was an observational study carried out between July 2009 and February 2011, at two orphanages in Hyderabad, India. Seventy seven HIV-positive children aged between 1 and half and 15 years, both on and not on antiretroviral therapy (ART) were included. Nutritional status was assessed longitudinally for one year by weight gain, linear growth and body composition. Serum samples were analyzed for haemoglobin, micronutrients, CD4 and CD8 counts. Dietary intakes were assessed by institutional diet survey and morbidity data were recorded every day for 12 months. Results: Mean energy intakes were less than recommended dietary allowance (RDA) in all age groups. Iron and folate intakes were less than 50 per cent of RDA; 46 (59.7%) children were stunted, 36 (46.8%) were underweight and 15 (19.5%) had low BMI for age. Anaemia was observed in 35 (45.5%) children. Micronutrient deficiencies such as vitamin D (40/77; 51.9%), vitamin A (11/77; 14.3%), folate (37/77; 48.1%), iron (38/77; 49.3%) were widely prevalent. HIV viral load was higher in children not on ART and those with morbidity. Respiratory (36.6%) and dermatological illnesses (18.8%) were the commonest presentations. Interpretation &conclusions: Acute, chronic malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies were common in HIV infected children, especially in those not on ART and having morbidity. With severe malnutrition being an alarming consequence of HIV, prophylactic nutritive care should be considered for integration into HIV care strategies besides initiation of ART to improve the nutritional status and quality of life of these children.

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