Local Misconceptions Of Children’s Immune Systems Hindering HIV Treatment In Malawi, Study Says
Some caregivers in rural Malawi have expressed a reluctance to begin antiretroviral therapy for children living with HIV because of a belief that their “bodies were too weak for pills and their blood was ‘still raw,’ but that as it ‘ripened’ with time, HIV-related opportunistic infections would leave them,” according to a study presented this week at the 1st International HIV Social Science and Humanities Conference in Durban, South Africa, PlusNews reports.
“Addressing local misperceptions of immunity may be critical to facilitating access and adherence to ARVs for children, especially in northern Malawi, where [researcher Laura Sikstrom from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto, Canada] alleged that the members of local therapy management groups, comprised of lay therapy counsellors, often play a larger role than nurses in starting children on treatment,” according to PlusNews. She added that the recent rejection of a grant from the Global FundÂ to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria would further hinder treatment effortsÂ (6/14).
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