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Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 2010, Article ID 897176, 6 pages
Research Article

Impact of HIV/Aids on Child Mortality before the Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy Era: A Study in Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo

1Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 9PX, UK
2Association Congolaise pour la Santé Publique et Communautaire, Pointe-Noire, Democratic Republic of Congo
3Laboratoire de Virologie, EA 3856 and Centre National de référence du VIH, CHU Bretonneau, François Rabelais University, 2 bd Tonnellé, 37044 Tours, France
4Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, UMI 174/Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Chiang Mai University, 187/10 Changklan Rd., Changklan, Muang, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
5UMR 196 CEPED, Université Paris-Descartes, INED, IRD, 19 rue Jacob, 75006 Paris, France

Received 5 March 2010; Accepted 15 July 2010

Academic Editor: Blaise Genton

Copyright © 2010 Camille Lallemant et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Few studies have documented the contribution of HIV/AIDS to mortality among children under 15 years. From June 30 to October 19, 2001, all child deaths ( ) registered to the morgue and/or hospitals of the city of Pointe-Noire, Congo, were investigated using a combined approach including an interview of relatives and postmortem clinical and biological HIV diagnosis. Twenty-one percent of children were HIV positive, while 10.5% of deaths were attributed to AIDS. The most common causes of death in HIV-infected children were pneumonia (30%), pyrexia (22%), diarrhoea (16%) and wasting syndrome (16%). Infant mortality rate was estimated 6.3 times higher in children born to HIV-infected mothers compared to HIV-uninfected mothers. This study provides a direct measure of HIV/AIDS as impact on child mortality using a rapid and reliable method. A significant number of deaths could be prevented if HIV infection was diagnosed earlier and infants were provided with antiretroviral treatments.