Children exposed to HIV in the womb may be more likely to experience hearing loss by age 16 than are their unexposed peers, according to scientists in a National Institutes of Health research network.
The researchers estimated that hearing loss affects 9 to 15 percent of HIV-infected children and 5 to 8 percent of children who did not have HIV at birth but whose mothers had HIV infection during pregnancy. Study participants ranged from 7 to 16 years old. The study was published online in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.
“If parents and teachers know the child has a hearing problem, then they may take measures to compensate in various communication settings, such as placement in the front of the classroom or avoiding noisy settings,” explained Howard Hoffman, M.A., director of the Epidemiology and Statistics Program at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), which provides funding to the network for studies related to hearing and language.
Read the full NIH news release