Originally published by 2 Minute Medicine® (view original article). Reused on AccessMedicine with permission.

1. In the Tigray region of Northern Ethiopia, a relatively low but significant proportion of children with HIV/AIDS on HAART therapy were found to be anemic.

Evidence Rating Level: 2

Children with HIV/AIDS often have anemia, and is unfortunately especially prevalent in Ethiopia, as prior studies have found over a 22% prevalence of anemia among children living with HIV/AIDS on HAART. Currently, there is a lack evidence on this topic in children on HAART in Tigray in Northern Ethiopia. This institution-based cross-sectional study attempted to address this gap in literature. Specifically, researchers sought to further investigate the prevalence of anemia amongst 241 children that are on HAART at the Mekelle Hospital between November 2018 to January 2019. Data on socio-demographic factors were additionally included and controlled for via questionnaires and patient interviews. Hemoglobin levels were measured in participants in order to analyze anemia status. This study found that 7% of patients included in this study were anemic. 56% of them had mild anemia, 19% had moderate anemia, and 25% had severe anemia. Amongst them, normocytic-normochromic anemia was the most common type of anemia found among the participants. Compared to the rest of the nation, Tigray demonstrated a lower rate of anemia amongst its pediatric patients with HIV/AIDS on HARRT. Despite this, this relatively low number still constitutes a large volume of patients, and a large proportion of affected patients were affected with severe anemia. These findings further support how anemia may be an under-addressed issue amongst these patients, and reinforce the importance of early detection and intervention to optimize clinical outcomes and quality of life.

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