Knowing kids dying of HIV: a traumatic event for AIDS orphans

Title: Knowing kids dying of HIV: a traumatic event for AIDS orphans

Authors: Qun Zhao, Xiaoming Li, Xiuyun Lin, Xiaoyi Fang, Guoxiang Zhao, Junfeng Zhao

Date: 2009

Abstract: Data from 755 AIDS orphans living in a rural area of China with high rates of HIV infection were used to examine the association between a child’s trauma symptoms and knowing a peer with HIV infection or one who had died of HIV. Trauma symptoms were measured by the Traumatic Symptoms Checklist for Children-Chinese Version (TSCC-CV). About 47% of participants reported they knew a child with HIV or one who had died of HIV. More orphans living in family-based care reported such knowledge, and trauma symptoms were significantly higher in children who reported such knowledge. Multivariate analysis showed that such knowledge was significantly associated with traumatic symptoms, controlling for gender, age, family socioeconomic status, orphan status (double vs. single), and care arrangement (family-based vs. institutional care). The results underscored the importance of psychosocial support and counseling to orphans in communities with high levels of HIV-related mortality.

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