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South African Journal of Child Health

On-line version ISSN 1999-7671
Print version ISSN 1994-3032


KEELING, K H; PRICE, J  and  NAIDOO, K D. HIV exposure and its association with paediatric ICU outcomes in children admitted with severe pneumonia at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, South Africa. S. Afr. j. child health [online]. 2022, vol.16, n.3, pp.1-4. ISSN 1999-7671.

BACKGROUND. Pneumonia is one of the leading causes of under-5 death in South Africa and accounts for a substantial burden of paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admissions. However, little is known about PICU outcomes in HIV-exposed uninfected (HIV-EU) children with pneumonia, despite the growing size of this vulnerable population. OBJECTIVES. To determine whether HIV exposure without infection is an independent risk factor for mortality and morbidity in children admitted to PICU with pneumonia. METHODS. This retrospective review included all patients with pneumonia admitted to the PICU at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2014. Patients were classified as HIV-unexposed (HIV-U), HIV-EU and HIV-infected. Medical records were reviewed to determine survival to PICU discharge, duration of PICU admission and duration of mechanical ventilation. Survival analysis was used to determine the association between HIV infection/exposure with mortality, and linear regression was used to examine the association with length of stay and duration of mechanical ventilation. This study included 107 patients: 54 were HIV-U; 28 were HIV-EU; 23 HIV-positive; and 2 had an unknown HIV status. RESULTS. Overall, 84% (n=90) survived to PICU discharge, with no difference in survival based on HIV infection or exposure. Both HIV-EU and HIV-U children had significantly shorter PICU admissions and fewer days of mechanical ventilation compared with HIV-infected children (p=0.011 and p=0.004, respectively). CONCLUSION. HIV-EU children behaved similarly to HIV-U children in terms of mortality, duration of PICU admission and length of mechanical ventilation. HIV infection was associated with prolonged length of mechanical ventilation and ICU stay but not increased mortality.

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