Understanding parent and child mental health outcomes and the potential of family-centred interventions in HIV epidemic settings in Africa

ANU School of Demography Seminar

Date and Time: Friday 30 November 2018 – 3.00pm – 4.00 pm

Location: Jean Martin Room, Beryl Rawson Bldg #13, Ellery Crescent, ANU

Presenter: Dr Tamsen Rochat, Associate Professor, University of the Witwatersrand

Title: Understanding parent and child mental health outcomes and the potential of family-centred interventions in HIV epidemic settings in Africa

Abstract

Africa is at the centre of the global HIV epidemic, and South Africa is one of the most heavily affected countries with one of the largest HIV treatment programs in the world. The success of prevention and treatment in South Africa has led to large numbers of HIV-infected parents surviving to raise their HIV uninfected children, with up to 60% of children being raised by an HIV-infected primary caregiver, most frequently their mother. This raises concern about how HIV exposure may impact on children’s development and mental health. While vertical transmission in South Africa has been reduced to less than 3%, the incidence amongst adolescents has continued to rise, with emerging evidence suggesting that this generation of HIV-exposed and affected children are at greater risk of infection themselves in adolescence. To date, most interventions to reduce HIV incidence during adolescence in South Africa have demonstrated only marginal or no sustained effects.

This presentation focuses on parent and child mental health outcomes in one of largest longitudinal cohorts in Africa, with a particular focus on the critical transition from pre-adolescence into early adolescence; and introduces a family-centred intervention approach, which has been successful tested amongst HIV infected parents with pre-adolescent children. Improving our understanding of how adolescent risk emerges is critical for both prevention and intervention. The Siyakhula cohort is one of only a few cohorts globally that includes both HIV-exposed, affected children and HIV-unexposed comparison group. It is the only cohort in Africa that includes objective tests of children cognition, and measured both parent and child mental health.

Contact: Susan Cowan +61 2  6125 4273

 

 

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