Trends and Risk Factors for HIV-1 Seropositivity Among Outpatient Children, Kinshasa, Zaire

AIDS. 1990 Dec;4(12):1231-6. doi: 10.1097/00002030-199012000-00008.

Abstract

To investigate recent trends in pediatric HIV-1 infection and the early impact of a blood screening program begun in one hospital in 1987 in Kinshasa, Zaire, we evaluated 1110 consecutive children seen in the pediatric emergency ward of the city's largest hospital in November 1988. The HIV-1 seroprevalence was 5.0%, not significantly higher than the rate of 3.8% found in 1986 (P = 0.2). The seropositivity rate was bimodally distributed; children less than 6 months of age had a higher rate (12.6%) than children 6-11 months old (1.9%; OR = 7.6; P less than 0.0001) and children 1-13 years old (4.1%; OR = 3.4; P less than 0.0001). Seropositive children greater than or equal to 1 year of age were more likely than seronegative children to be anemic and to have signs of malnutrition. A previous blood transfusion was associated with HIV-1 seropositivity among children greater than or equal to 1 year of age (OR = 5.4, P less than 0.0005), but not among younger children. Fifty-two per cent of seropositive children greater than or equal to 1 year of age received a transfusion (etiological fraction = 42%). The association with seropositivity was higher for those who had received a transfusion before 1987 than for those who had received a transfusion since 1987 (OR = 4.8, P = 0.01). These findings suggest a relatively stable, high pediatric HIV-1 seroprevalence in Kinshasa and a decreased but continued risk of transfusions. Expansion of currently limited blood transfusion screening programs, and the development of new strategies for limiting transfusions and preventing severe anemia, are needed.

PIP: To investigate recent trends in pediatric HIV-1 infection and the early impact of a blood screening program begun in 1 hospital in Kinshasa, Zaire, the authors evaluated 1110 consecutive children seen in the pediatric emergency ward of the city's largest hospital in November 1988. The HIV-1 seroprevalence was 5.0%, not significantly higher than the 3.8% rate found in 1986 (p=0.2). The seropositivity rate was bimodally distributed; children 6 months of age had a higher rate (12.6%) than children 6-11 months old (1.9%; OR+7.6; p0.0001) and children 1-13 years old (4.1%; OR+3.4; p0.0001). Seropositive children or= 1 year of age were more likely than seronegative children to be anemic and to have signs of malnutrition. A previous blood transfusion was associated with HIV-1 seropositivity among children or= 1 year of age (OR=5.4, p0.0005), but not among younger children. 52% of seropositive children or= 1 year of age had received a transfusion (etiological fraction=42%). The association with seropositivity was higher for those who had received a transfusion before 1987 than for those who received 1 since that time (OR=4.8, p=0.01). These findings suggest a relatively stable, high pediatric HIV-1 seroprevalence in Kinshasa and a decreased but continuous risk of transfusions. Expansion of currently limited blood transfusion screening programs and the development of new strategies for limiting transfusions and anemia prevention are necessary.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blood Transfusion*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo / epidemiology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / etiology*
  • HIV Seropositivity / epidemiology*
  • HIV Seroprevalence
  • HIV-1*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Risk Factors