Hearing Impairment in Children Living with HIV in Haiti

Vienna Valeriani, Ankita Patro, Nathaniel Segaren, Daphnee Michel, Anaelle Canez, Shaina Lamour, Patrick J. Gilles, Sophia Charles, John Martin Corkery, James L. Netterville, Asitha D.L. Jayawardena

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To identify the prevalence of hearing impairment and associated risk factors in children living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Haiti.

A validated smartphone-based platform with pure-tone audiometry was used to screen 341 HIV-infected children for hearing impairment in Port-au-Prince, Haiti from March 2019 to September 2020. If screening was failed, a more comprehensive pure-tone audiometric evaluation was administered. Demographic, otologic, and HIV-related data were obtained through caregiver surveys and medical charts. Statistical analysis included univariate and multivariate logistic regression.

Sixty (18%) of 341 HIV-infected children (ages 7–18 years) had hearing impairment. Of those failing their hearing assessment, 17 (28%) had moderate and 5 (8%) had severe or profound hearing loss. Hearing impairment was associated with frequent ear infections (OR 3.37; 95% CI 1.76–6.46; p < 0.001) and family history of hearing loss (OR 5.12; 95% CI 2.14–12.23; p = 0.001) but not viral load (OR 1.00; 95% CI 0.73–1.02; p = 0.28) or antiretroviral therapy duration (OR 0.96; 95% CI 0.79–1.17; p = 0.66). Only 35% of caregivers correctly perceived their child's hearing loss.

Hearing impairment occurs at a higher prevalence in HIV-infected children in Haiti than what is expected for those living without HIV. Frequent ear infections were significantly associated with hearing loss while antiretroviral therapy duration was not. Despite their potential ototoxicity, antiretroviral therapies should be continued and may decrease incidence of otitis media. Low caregiver perception of hearing loss emphasizes the need for routine hearing screening for HIV-infected children.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111329
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Early online date30 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2022


  • HIV
  • hearing loss
  • hearing screening
  • Haiti
  • Children
  • Hearing screening
  • Public health
  • Hearing loss


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