Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is probably one of the most known sexually transmitted diseases worldwide. It is a virus that stays in your body once it is transmitted, and there is no cure. HIV over time can lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Even though there is no cure, modern medicine can help to slow down the progression of HIV, which is called antiretroviral therapy (ART) (AIDS.GOV, 2015). Unfortunately not everyone has access to this medication and HIV continues to take people’s lives daily. Although the study of HIV and AIDS has come a long way, not many studies have been done in regards to children born to HIV positive mothers and how it affects the child’s livelihood. The purpose of this literature review is to explore this topic, and get a better understanding of the effects of being born to an HIV positive mother has, compared to children born to HIV negative mothers. This is an important subject to research, and continue research on, because it is something that is 100% preventable. No child should have to be born to an HIV positive mother, and suffer the possible consequences explored in this review.
The chosen studies have addressed the development in children in the physical development state, and the cognitive development state. One study “Effects of Perinatal HIV Infection and Early Institutional Rearing on Physical and Cognitive Development of Children in Ukraine” also addresses how the development may change if the home environment is not with the parents, because early parental death due to HIV has shown to be common in these studies. This is a good study to add in because institutional care can jeopardize a child’s optimal development (D...
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Although these were great studies, they all used different testing methods, and two studies reported small sizes. A further study could address this issue along with the locations of the children. If one set test was used for children all around the world, the results would be able to be interpreted easily for comparison. Because different areas of the world are more developed than others, testing on how much of a genetic and environmental influence plays into the child’s development would be an important factor. Regardless of limitations, the results show that there is significant decline in children that are born to HIV positive mothers, and have HIV themselves. This is an issue that should be addressed more, and mothers who are HIV positive should be greatly educated in the risk they are putting their future children in.
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