Caring for perinatally HIV-infected children: call for mental care for the children and the caregivers

Kimiyo Kikuchi, Krishna C. Poudel, John Muganda Rwibasira, Adolphe Majyambere, Vincent Mutabazi, Simon Pierre Nyonsenga, Ribakare Muhayimpundu, Masamine Jimba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Antiretroviral therapy has dramatically improved the survival rate of perinatally HIV-infected children. For them to thrive, it is necessary to understand better their mental health issues. Caregivers play an important role in children’s daily care and caregiver mental health may relate to children’s mental health. However, this association has rarely been studied. Accordingly, the present study examined the associations between depression of caregivers and that of perinatally HIV-infected children in Kigali, Rwanda. We conducted a cross-sectional study of 475 perinatally HIV-infected children aged 7–14 years and their caregivers. We collected children’s depression score data via face-to-face interviews with children using the Beck Depression Inventory for Youth. We also collected sociodemographic data using a semi-structured questionnaire with caregivers. In addition, we measured children’s weight, height, and collected their clinical records. Data were analyzed via linear and logistic regression analyses. Of all children, 22% had symptoms of depression. Among those who had depressive symptoms (n= 105), 49% had never received psychological support. In both the linear and logistic regression analysis, caregiver’s high depression scores were positively associated with children’s higher depression scores (AOR: 3.064, 95% CI: 1.723, 4.855, and AOR: 1.759, 95% CI: 1.129, 2.740, respectively). Taking Efavirenz and low height-for-age were also positively associated with higher depression scores among HIV-infected children. Mental health needs to be addressed to improve quality of life of perinatally HIV-infected children. Caregiver’s depression was positively associated with children’s depressive symptoms. Caring for both children and the caregivers’ mental health may prevent the mutual fostering of depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1280-1286
Number of pages7
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 3 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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