The psychosocial conditions and intensified education that may affect school performance of HIV/AIDS orphaned children on antiretroviral drugs.

  Vol. 34 (Suppl 1) 2013 Neuro endocrinology letters Journal Article   2013; 34(Suppl 1): 12-16 PubMed PMID:  24013600    Citation

OBJECTIVE: This study begins with interpreting basic academic results from the House of Family (HOF) comprehensive project for HIV/AIDS orphaned children. We reviewed school performance during the academic period from 2007 to 2012.

METHODS: All the children in the HOF project have vertically acquired HIV infection, with approximately 90% being with AIDS/Clinical Stage C at the time of admission. Initiation of antiretroviral drugs (ARV) was at the average age of 7 (mean 6.94, median 6.5, and a mode of 6). In the year 2007, 44 children had been receiving ARV. The majority of these children 32 (72.7%) were on ARV for at least 1 year, 6 (13.6%) of the children on ARV for 4 years, 7 (15.9%) were on ARV for 3 years, 5 (11.3%) for 2 years, 14 (31.8%) for 1 year, and 12 (27.2%) started ARV on that year. Later on, an additional 2 children started ARV in 2008, 1 child in 2009, and 4 children in 2010.

RESULTS: We found that the total number of children achieving a certain academic level changed very little between each scholastic year. During the four years of school reviewed, it was noted that the Poor performers made improvement and an increase in Good performance grades was also achieved. The trend of Fair levels remained mostly unchanged at 65%, 70.2%, 68.5%, and 64.6% respectively. The overall passing performance, including both Fair and Good scores, improved from 67.5% in 2008 to 80.8% the following year of school. This passing rate of 80.8% in 2009 remains stable over the next two years at 80.3% and 80.3% respectively.

CONCLUSION: Despite the late introduction of ARV medicine, limited family and social support, and deficient academic achievement, the children of HOF were able to improve their school performance due to intensified psychosocial and educational support provided at the HOF comprehensive project.