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HIV and AIDS

What Impact Does AIDS Have On Children?

04/17/2003

Question:

I was wondering what the impact of AIDS on young children was. How it affects them psychologically (emotionally, socially, and intellectually). Thank you.

Answer:

Like any chronic illness, HIV infection has a tremendous impact on every aspect of the lives of children. Their growth is often shortened. They may have involvement with HIV in the brain leading to poor school performance. Side effects of medications and the illness may affect their stamina and ability to participate in sports and other school activities. The impact of being faced with an ultimately fatal disease is very hard for anyone including a child. Finally, many children with HIV are excluded by others from participation in the normal activities of life. 

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Response by:

Carl   Fichtenbaum, MD Carl Fichtenbaum, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati