© 2019 Lentoor. Background: Children with perinatally acquired HIV in low resource settings are at risk for neurocognitive impairments not only due to the direct effects of HIV on the brain and in utero ART exposure but also due to factors associated with their environment. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine the association between home environment and caregiver factors and the neurocognitive function of pre-school- and-school-aged HIV-positive South African children from low resource rural communities. Materials and Methods: The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-III was administered to assess the neurocognitive functioning of 152 purposively sampled perinatally acquired HIV-positive children on cART, aged 3 years to 7 years 6 months (mean age 63.13 months). The primary caregivers (n = 152) completed the Home Screening Questionnaire to assess the quality of the home-environment of the children. Results :The results showed that unfavorable environment, caregiver type, and quality of stimulation in the home were negatively associated with the neurocognitive development of perinatally HIV-positive children on cART. Most of the HIV-positive children (n = 95) were under the care of an extended relative. Older HIV-positive boys, reared by biological mothers, who also lived in suboptimal and poor quality home-environments had poorer neurocognitive function when compared to HIV-positive children reared by non-biological (extended relatives) caregivers, [F(2,149) = 14.42, p < 0.001]. Conclusion: The child's early home environment is associated with general neurocognitive development, which highlights the need for early psychosocial interventions that can promote better cognitive outcomes among children living with HIV.
- Biological and non-biological (extended relatives) caregivers
- Home environment
- Neurocognitive function