Erikstrup, Christian17, Laursen, Alex Lund18, Østergaard, Lars Jørgen18, Wejse, Christian18
INTRODUCTION: Current knowledge on morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected children comes from data collected in specific research programmes, which may offer a different standard of care compared to routine care. We described hospitalization data within a large observational cohort of HIV-infected children in West Africa (IeDEA West Africa collaboration). METHODS: We performed a six-month prospective multicentre survey from April to October 2010 in five HIV-specialized paediatric hospital wards in Ouagadougou, Accra, Cotonou, Dakar and Bamako. Baseline and follow-up data during hospitalization were recorded using a standardized clinical form, and extracted from hospitalization files and local databases. Event validation committees reviewed diagnoses within each centre. HIV-related events were defined according to the WHO definitions. RESULTS: From April to October 2010, 155 HIV-infected children were hospitalized; median age was 3 years [1-8]. Among them, 90 (58%) were confirmed for HIV infection during their stay; 138 (89%) were already receiving cotrimoxazole prophylaxis and 64 children (40%) had initiated antiretroviral therapy (ART). The median length of stay was 13 days (IQR: 7-23); 25 children (16%) died during hospitalization and four (3%) were transferred out. The leading causes of hospitalization were WHO stage 3 opportunistic infections (37%), non-AIDS-defining events (28%), cachexia and other WHO stage 4 events (25%). CONCLUSIONS: Overall, most causes of hospitalizations were HIV related but one hospitalization in three was caused by a non-AIDS-defining event, mostly in children on ART. HIV-related fatality is also high despite the scaling-up of access to ART in resource-limited settings.