Cognitive Functioning of HIV -ve Babies Born from Mothers on ARV’s

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Cognitive Functioning of HIV -ve Babies Born from Mothers on ARV’s

Cognitive Functioning of HIV -ve Babies Born from Mothers on ARV’s

HIV +ve mothers are often given antiretroviral medication to prevent their babies from being born HIV +ve.  However, an observation was made by one of the psychologists in our country that these babies seem to have cognitive deficits despite being born HIV-ve.  Could it be that the antiretroviral medication is negatively affecting the brain development of these children in utero?

As a preliminary study into this this, a researcher can test young children from similar social circumstances, but some from mothers who are HIV -ve, some from mothers who are HIV +ve who are not on ARV’s and some from mother who are HIV+ve but have been on ARV’s during their pregnancy.  Factors such as educational achievement of the parents and/or the parents’ cognitive functioning and the mother’s substance use habits during pregnancy, would need to be controlled for.

Variations on the theme:

  • Babies can be tested using the Griffiths Baby Scales or other tests of cognitive functioning of babies.
  • Older children can be tested, but then additional variables might need to be controlled for.
  • A longitudinal study can be done where the groups of children are followed and their cognitive functioning tested over several years.  (This is perhaps a study that can be done with several years’ classes of Honours and/or Master’s students; each year’s class assessing the children in the year that they do their studies.)

Please leave a reply/comment below, especially if you are thinking of doing this research.

2 Comments

  1. Tanuja says:

    I would like to conduct research on this area. Please contact me for further discussion.

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