Barcelona 2013
Barcelona 2013
Abstract book - Abstract - 548
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Conference Details
International Committee
Plenary Speakers
Presenting Speakers
Scientific Committee
Abstract #548  -  Educational Challenges
  35.2: Educational Challenges (Parallel) on Tuesday @ 14.30-16.00 in Auditorium Chaired by
  Presenting Author:   Ms Erica Pufall - Imperial College London, United Kingdom
  Additional Authors:   
Those with higher levels of education have been shown to be at reduced risk of HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa, but less is known about how being infected with HIV directly and indirectly impacts attending, and particularly succeeding in, education. With traditionally high levels of school enrolment, Zimbabwe is an ideal setting in which to explore the role that HIV and AIDS can play in vulnerable children succeeding in school. This study uses quantitative data to determine the educational impacts of HIV and AIDS on children and adolescents from eastern Zimbabwe.
Method / Issue:
Combined data from adolescents (ages 15-24) in five rounds (1998-2011) of a general population survey were analysed using multi-variable logistic regression to assess the association between education outcomes and HIV/AIDS-risk factors, adjusting for socio-demographic factors. Education outcomes were being two or more years behind in school (ages 15-20) and having at least five O-level passes (ages 16-24) (the minimum qualification for formal sector employment). HIV/AIDS-related risk factors were being HIV-positive, having an HIV-positive parent, being a young-carer, or being a maternal or paternal orphan. The fifth round of the survey (2009-2011) included data on children aged 6-17, which were analysed for the impacts of the above risk factors on regular attendance in primary and secondary school, and for being behind in school. To determine whether there was a dose response of exposure, we conducted the above analyses for children who were dual-affected by being both orphaned and HIV-positive, or who were double orphans.
Results / Comments:
Among adolescents 16-24 years of age, those who were HIV-positive only were significantly less likely to have five or more O-level passes (AOR: 0.51; 95% CI: 0.34-0.78). Additionally, adolescents who were HIV-positive and maternal orphans were also significantly less likely to have five or more O-level passes (AOR: 0.42; 95% CI: 0.20-0.91). For children in secondary school (ages 13-17), those who were young-carers were significantly less likely to attend school at least 80% of the time (AOR: 0.44; 95% CI: 0.23-0.86). Amongst children 8-17 years of age, being a maternal (AOR: 1.52; 95% CI: 1.16-2.00), paternal (AOR: 1.34; 95% CI: 1.06-1.68) or double (AOR: 1.48; 95% CI: 1.08-2.04) orphan significantly increased the odds of being behind in school. The percentage of all children behind in school is 17.4% (95% CI: 15.8%-19.0%), but orphanhood increases this to 23.7% (95% CI: 21.4%-26.0%) for paternal orphans, 25.1% (95% CI: 21.9%-28.4%) for maternal, and 25.0% (95% CI: 21.0%-29.0%) for double orphans.
Our findings suggest that the relationship between HIV and education is cyclical and that those children who come from families impacted by the HIV epidemic are less likely to succeed in school than those children who have escaped the effects of AIDS. In order to curb the cycle of HIV and poor education, policies and interventions should focus on both getting vulnerable children into school, and supporting them once they are in school.
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