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Children affected by maternal HIV/AIDS: Feasibility and acceptability trial of the Children United with Buddies (CUB) intervention


Past research has shown that young children affected by maternal HIV present with elevated stress/anxiety and negative well-being. This pilot intervention for children aged 7-14 affected by maternal HIV targeted improving positive child-mother communication, improving HIV/AIDS knowledge and reducing anxiety (especially related to transmission), and lessening feelings of stigma. Each of the three child intervention sessions included behavioral skills training and a themed craft exercise; mothers attended an open discussion group while the children attended their sessions. Study participants were 37 child-mother pairs. The study design was a randomized two-group pretest-posttest experimental design. The intervention sessions were audiotaped for transcription. Results showed significant decreases in anxiety and worry for children in the intervention group, and increases in happiness and knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS transmission. Intervention group mothers reported greater social support. Qualitative findings for the intervention group children and mothers also support these findings. Early intervention reduces child stress, and may affect longer-term outcomes.

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