Original Research

Burden of respiratory diseasw among paediatric patients infected with HIV

N. C.P. da Cunha, J. L. Potterton, C. R.M. Humphries
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 69, No 4 | a377 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v69i4.377 | © 2013 N. C.P. da Cunha, J. L. Potterton, C. R.M. Humphries | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 November 2013 | Published: 16 January 2013

About the author(s)

N. C.P. da Cunha, Department of Physiotherapy, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
J. L. Potterton, Department of Physiotherapy, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
C. R.M. Humphries, Department of Physiotherapy, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

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Abstract

The effects of paediatric HIV on the respiratory system are seen daily in paediatric wards. The nature of respiratory disease and the needs of HIV-positive patients have changed subsequent to the introduction of anti-retrovirals to South Africa in 2004. One hundred and twenty-five children admitted to the paediatric wards under the age of seven years were recruited for this study. The purpose of this study was to understand the disease profile of children with HIV/AIDS, their health status, presenting respiratory conditions, and need for chest physiotherapy. The most common respiratory conditions included bacterial pneumonia (66.4%), tuberculosis (48%) and pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (23.2%) (n=125). Two thirds of the children (68.8%) presented with a high burden of disease. Forty percent (40.8%) of the children were taking anti-retrovirals with an average length of use of 9.81 months (±SD=11.61). Analysis of immune status revealed a mean CD4 percentage of 17.33% (±SD=10.96), CD4 absolute 631.36 cell/mm3 (±SD=610.36) and viral load 2.6 million copies /ml (±SD=9.08 million copies/ml). This study highlights the characteristics and prevalence of respiratory disease burden among children with HIV in a South African setting in a post highly active antiretroviral era.

Keywords

Respitory Disease; Children; HIV; Antiretroviral therapy; Physiotherapy

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