African Journal of AIDS Research

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The relationship between social support and anxiety amongst children living with HIV in rural northern Namibia

Fred Besthorn, Eveline N Kalomo, Elizabeth Lightfoot, Minli Liao


This study examined how HIV-related stigma and social support are related to anxiety among children living with HIV in rural northern Namibia. This is a cross-sectional exploratory study with a sample of 132 caregiver–child dyads.
Our study found that higher levels of social support was correlated with lower levels of anxiety among children living with HIV, but higher levels of HIV-related stigma was not correlated with higher levels of anxiety. These findings point to the need for the development of more culturally and age specific interventions that enhance social support among children living with HIV, especially those in high-prevalence and socio-economically deprived settings.

Keywords: Africa, HIV/AIDS, HIV infection, mental health, paediatric HIV, stigma

AJOL African Journals Online