The neurodevelopment of HIV positive infants on HAART compared to HIV exposed but uninfected infants
HIV continues to affect thousands of children in South Africa. HIV not only has a negative impact on growth, morbidity and mortality but also adversely affects neurodevelopment. The virus is able to enter the central nervous system and cause damage which results in encephalopathy. A high percentage of infants infected with HIV are delayed. The roll out of HAART in South Africa was started in 2004 and in 2010 new guidelines to improve access were implemented. Although HAART is effective in improving growth, decreasing morbidity and mortality its effects on neurodevelopment are generally unknown. Very little high quality research has been done on the effects of HAART on neurodevelopment especially in developing countries and on infants.
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of the Witwatersrand, for the degree of Master of Science, Johannesburg, 2012