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Psychosocial Aspects of Neurological Impairment in Children with AIDS 

Psychosocial Aspects of Neurological Impairment in Children with AIDS
Psychosocial Aspects of Neurological Impairment in Children with AIDS

Lori Wiener

and Claude Mellins

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date: 07 July 2020

Despite HAART, children with perinatally acquired HIV-1 infection remain at risk of brain dysfunction. The entire spectrum of the clinician's skills is required when working with these young patients and their families. Diagnostic skills are required to address the indirect and direct effects of the virus on multiple family members. Clinical skills are essential for designing individual, family, and group therapeutic modalities that address overall health and development as well as the specific neuropsychological effects of HIV. Advocacy skills benefit patients and families by linking them with invaluable psychological, social support, educational, and concrete services. For the clinician, working with these young patients and their families can become highly personal, as the clinician becomes an important part of the child's and family's life. This chapter considers the psychosocial impact of neurological impairment on the HIV-infected child. In particular, the chapter focuses on 1.) the prevalence of impairment, 2.) the nature of the developmental challenges, and 3) interventions that can best meet the psychosocial, educational, and therapeutic needs of these children and their families.

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