Anaemia is a common condition in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and it contributes significantly to its morbidity and mortality. However, there are a few available studies describing the risk factors of anaemia in HIV- infected, antiretroviral therapy naïve (ART) Nigerian children. A retrospective, cross-sectional study, at the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, between June, 2010 and June, 2012.Potential risk factors of anaemia were tested for significance in bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses. 403 HIV-infected children, including 210 males and 193 females, aged between 4 months to 15 years were studied. The child’s age and gender, growth failure, CD4 counts, viral load, tuberculosis and other co-morbidities, family HIV status and other socioeconomic factors were not significantly associated with anaemia. The high prevalence of anaemia in this study supports the routine pre-ART evaluation for anaemia, so that the preferred first line antiretroviral medicines would be those not associated with anaemia. Also, in this setting, concerted efforts should be put in place to specifically screen for anaemia among at risk HIV-infected children living in urban communities and/or those co-infected with hepatitis B infection. Programmatic interventions including preventive haematinics and micronutrients supplements will be better guided to at risk children.
Key words: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infection, anti-retroviral naïve, children, anaemia, risk factors, Makurdi, Nigeria.
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