Relationship between HIV-infected kids, caregivers crucial

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Washington, February 6 (ANI): Scientists have stressed on the significance of the quality of care and the relationship between children and their caregivers.

Researchers sought to determine the effects of HIV infection and being raised in institutions on the development of infected and uninfected Ukrainian 4-year-olds.

Experts at Leiden University in the Netherlands found that the quality of the relationships between the children and their caregivers had a bigger impact on children's physical growth and cognitive performance than the presence of the HIV infection or the quality of the physical environment.

Marinus H. van IJzendoorn, professor of child and family studies at Leiden University, and doctoral student Natasha Dobrova-Krol, one of the researchers, also found for both children with and without HIV, family care was better than institutional care.

Ijzendoorn said: "This study underscores efforts to strengthen the quality of children's relationship with caregivers as important for children infected with HIV.

"Because HIV-infected children are the least-preferred candidates for adoption or foster care, many of them will remain in rather low-quality institutions. Renovating the premises and giving them toys and learning materials has become a popular form of intervention in Eastern Europe, and it is certainly valuable. But our study shows that interventions should focus on more stable and sensitive relationships between children and their caregivers."

The study was published in the journal Child Development. (ANI)

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