DOES MATERNAL HIV STATUS AFFECT INFANT GROWTH?: A HOSPITAL BASED FOLLOW UP STUDY
Keywords:HIV, MTCT, growth, malnutrition, morbidity pattern
Introduction: HIV infection is difficult to diagnose in infants, as most infected babies appear healthy and exhibit no signs and symptoms at birth. The present study was conducted to study the clinical profile & morbidity pattern of infants born to HIV positive mothers, their nutritional status and growth pattern and compare them with HIV non exposed infants.
Methodology: This observational longitudinal study was conducted in Dec 2009 – Dec 2010 where all HIV exposed baby born in the hospital (n=44) were compared with suitable sample of HIV non exposed babies (n=140) in context of clinical profile & morbidity pattern.
Results: In maternal weight <50 Kg category, mean weight, length and head circumference of HIV exposed infants is significantly lower than HIV non exposed infants. However, pattern of weight gain remain similar in both group. Grade 1 and grade 2 malnutrition was more in HIV exposed group at 3 month & 6 month. HIV exposed baby reported higher episodes of diarrhea (28.57%) as compared to non exposed group (15.33%) with statistically significant difference (p value<0.05).
Conclusion: HIV exposure does not adversely affect growth potential of infants but because of their lower baseline values they seem to lag behind. Moreover maternal HIV status does not lead to severe degree of malnutrition if these babies were not themselves affected with HIV.
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