Background: Anemia is one of the most common hematological problems in HIV infected patients in the world. The main aim of this study was to determine the magnitude of anemia and associated factors among HIV infected children on highly active antiretroviral therapy attending University of Gondar Comprehensive and Specialized Referral Hospital.
Methods: A retrospective study was conducted from 2013 to 2018 by reviewing medical records at University of Gondar Comprehensive and Specialized Referral Hospital ART clinic. Records of 238 HIV infected children on HAART were selected using a convenient sampling technique. Socio-demographic characteristics, clinical information, and hematological and immunological profiles of the study participants were collected from the patients record books. WHO cutoff value of hemoglobin was taken and adjusted to define anemia in higher altitude. Data was analyzed by using the SPSS version 20 statistical software, and odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals were used to quantify the strength of association between anemia and its potential predictors.
Results: The overall prevalence of anemia among HIV infected children in this study was 38.7%. Of anemic children, 48.9% had mild, 39.1% moderate, and 11.9% severe anemia. This study showed that HIV infected children on Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy who live in rural residence had a two-fold risk of being anemia than urban dwellers (AOR = 2.151, 95% CI, 1.123 - 4.122). There was no significant association with gender, WHO clinical stage, opportunistic infections, cotrimoxazole treatment, and CD4 count percentage.
Conclusions: Anemia is a common problem among the children taking highly active antiretroviral therapy. Therefore, health care workers need to routinely investigate and treat anemia, especially in rural dwellers. Furthermore, large scale and longitudinal studies are recommended to strengthen and explore the problem in depth.