Objective Mother-to-child transmission is the main way of HIV infection for children in Ukraine. More than 18 000 children were born to HIV-positive mothers since the epidemic started in Ukraine.
Methods The aim of the research is to study the influence of HIV exposure on growth and psychomotor development of infants born to HIV-positive mothers. Weight, height and adaptive behaviour scale evaluation of 207 HIV-infected (group 1), 328 uninfected HIV-exposed infants (group 2) and 100 children of HIV-negative mothers (controls) were compared in a prospective cohort study. PCR for HIV status confirmation was performed at the age of 1 and 3 months.
Results Statistical differences in mean weight, height at the age of 3 and 12 months between groups 1 and 2, group 2 and controls were found: 15.46% (95% CI 9.75 to 21.17%) of children in group 1 and 7.16% (95% CI 2.87 to 11.45) of children in group 2 at the age of 12 months were wasted. Advanced stage of HIV in the mother (odds ratio (OR) 5.3; 95% CI 2.28 to 12.35), low socioeconomic status of family (OR 2.46; 95% CI 2.38 to 13.23), injection drug use (OR 3.07; 95% CI 1.42 to 6.65) had an influence on the growth of infants born to HIV-positive mothers. Results showed score evaluation in Vineland was consistently poor in groups 1 and 2.
Conclusion HIV-infected and uninfected infants born to injection drug using mothers had growth retardation and psychomotor delay. Social factors are the main determinants that influence growth and psychomotor development of infants born to HIV-positive mothers.