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BMJ Open ; 12(10): e058340, 2022 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36229140


BACKGROUND: The intergenerational effects of HIV require long-term investigation. We compared developmental outcomes of different generations impacted by HIV-children of mothers not living with HIV, the 'second generation' (ie, with recently infected mothers) and the 'third generation' (ie, children of perinatally infected mothers). METHODS: A cross-sectional community sample of N=1015 young mothers (12-25 years) and their first children (2-68 months, 48.2% female), from South Africa's Eastern Cape Province. 71.3% (n=724) of children were born to mothers not living with HIV; 2.7% (n=27; 1 living with HIV) were third-generation and 26.0% (n=264; 11 living with HIV) second-generation children. Child scores on the Mullen Scales of Early Learning (MSEL), the WHO Ten Questions Screen for Disability and maternal demographics were compared between groups using χ2 tests and univariate approach, analysis of variance analysis. Hierarchical linear regressions investigated predictive effects of familial HIV infection patterns on child MSEL composite scores, controlling for demographic and family environment variables. RESULTS: Second-generation children performed poorer on gross (M=47.0, SD=13.1) and fine motor functioning (M=41.4, SD=15.2) and the MSEL composite score (M=90.6, SD=23.0) than children with non-infected mothers (gross motor: M=50.4, SD=12.3; fine motor: M=44.4, SD=14.1; composite score: M=94.1, SD=20.7). The third generation performed at similar levels to non-exposed children (gross motor: M=52.4, SD=16.1; fine motor: M=44.3, SD=16.1, composite score: M=94.7, SD=22.2), though analyses were underpowered for definite conclusions. Hierarchical regression analyses suggest marginal predictive effects of being second-generation child compared with having a mother not living with HIV (B=-3.3, 95% CI=-6.8 to 0 .1) on MSEL total scores, and non-significant predictive effects of being a third-generation child (B=1.1, 5% CI=-7.5 to 9.7) when controlling for covariates. No group differences were found for disability rates (26.9% third generation, 27.7% second generation, 26.2% non-exposed; χ2=0.02, p=0.90). CONCLUSION: Recently infected mothers and their children may struggle due to the disruptiveness of new HIV diagnoses and incomplete access to care/support during pregnancy and early motherhood. Long-standing familial HIV infection may facilitate care pathways and coping, explaining similar cognitive development among not exposed and third-generation children. Targeted intervention and fast-tracking into services may improve maternal mental health and socioeconomic support.

HIV Infections , Mothers , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Mental Health , Pregnancy , South Africa/epidemiology
Psychol Health Med ; 27(sup1): 155-166, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36004413


While substantial research has emerged from the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as from studies with adolescent populations, there has been a dearth of research focused in South Africa on the context-specific experiences of healthcare workers (HCWs) and the adolescents and young people (AYP) to whom they provide services. This article documents the experiences of provision and receipt of HIV and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services during the COVID-19 pandemic from the perspective of South African HCWs (n = 13) and AYP (n = 41, ages 17-29). Findings highlight several barriers to accessing comprehensive HIV and SRH services during the pandemic including lockdown-related mobility restrictions (reported by HCWs), prioritisation of COVID-19 above other healthcare needs, longer health facility waiting times, poor treatment by HCWs (reported by AYP), discomfort and perceived stigma from having to queue outside health facilities, and fear of contracting COVID-19 (reported by both groups). While HCWs reported that HIV and SRH services continued to be available during the pandemic, AYP described seeking these services - such as long-acting reversible contraception, check-ups for their babies and medical refills - and being told that because they were not considered emergency cases, they should return on a different date. By capturing diverse experiences and perspectives from both groups, our findings reiterate the growing call for health system investments to strengthen the delivery of adolescent services, including investing in appropriate channels of communication between young people and their healthcare providers (for example, through adolescent peer supporters or community healthcare workers) and differentiated models of service delivery (for example, multi-month ART refills and community pick-ups). Closing the gap between the experiences and needs of adolescents and the healthcare workers who serve them may support young people and HCWs in buffering against changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Adolescent , Humans , Young Adult , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , South Africa/epidemiology , Pandemics , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/therapy , Communicable Disease Control , Health Personnel , Health Services Accessibility