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The impact of HIV/AIDS on families and children - a study in China

Ji, Guopinga; Li, Lib; Lin, Chunqingb; Sun, Stephanieb

doi: 10.1097/01.aids.0000304712.87164.42
Original papers

Objective: The goal of the study was to understand the needs of families and children affected by HIV/AIDS.

Design: This study used a mixed method combining qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Methods: Focus groups were conducted with local health workers, local schoolteachers, village leaders, persons living with HIV/AIDS, and caregivers for children affected by HIV/AIDS in Anhui, China. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 154 caregivers of HIV-affected children.

Results: The majority of the caregivers interviewed in the quantitative study were parents (84%), 80% were HIV-positive, and 58% were female. About 54% of the caregivers rated quality of life as poor and 85% reported frequent negative feelings. The annual income per person for HIV/AIDS affected families was much lower than the provincial average. HIV also impacted family relations and family economic situation. The impact of HIV on children was reflected in children's school performance. Children's nutrition and health were also compromised.

Conclusions: Interventions that address the challenges that families face, build families' coping skills, and form supportive local community networks, are needed.

From the aAnhui Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Hefei, China

bCenter for Community Health, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.

Correspondence to Guoping Ji, PhD, Anhui Provincial Center for Disease Prevention and Control, 377 Wuhu Road, Hefei, Anhui, People's Republic of China 230061. E-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.