HIV AND CHILD MALNUTRITION: EXAMINING THE RELATIONSHIP OF MATERNAL HIV ON NUTRITIONAL OUTCOMES FOR DEPENDENT CHILDREN IN KENYA
Herman, Nicole D.
This paper examines the relationship of maternal HIV on nutritional outcomes for dependent children, aged 0-60 months, in Kenya. While current literature has begun to examine the effect of parent HIV status on educational and nutritional outcomes of orphans and other vulnerable children, very little is known about children still living with HIV positive parents. This study uses data from the 2009 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey, one of only a few nationally representative surveys that link individual HIV test results with a host of demographic, behavioral and social indicators. Using OLS models, and controlling for multiple sources of endogeneity, this study tests the hypothesis that dependent children of HIV positive mothers are at greater risk of malnutrition and finds that maternal HIV is correlated with an increased likelihood that dependent children will be underweight and/or wasted, two indicators of malnutrition. These findings suggest that current health policies and nutrition interventions are not effectively reaching this vulnerable population. Improvements in targeting and tailoring existing programs to meet the unique needs of HIV positive mothers and their children should be considered.
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