Biomedical risk, psychosocial influences, and developmental outcomes: lessons from the pediatric HIV population in Africa

Document Type



Institute for Human Development


Abstract: Sub‐Saharan Africa is home to millions of HIV‐affected children. These children are likely to experience multiple developmental delays. In this chapter, I present data highlighting compromised neurobehavioral, mental health, and scholastic outcomes for children affected by HIV. Furthermore, I discuss biomedical factors (e.g., disease severity and nutritional status) that may exacerbate the adverse effects of HIV on childhood outcomes. I also present evidence on how psychosocial risk factors such as poor maternal mental health, orphanhood, and poverty may aggravate the effects of HIV. The concluding section of the chapter highlights conceptual and methodological refinements in research on the impact of HIV on child development in Sub‐Saharan Africa.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

New directions for child and adolescent development