The effects of HIV on cognitive and motor development in children born to HIV-seropositive women with no reported drug use: Birth to 24 months

C. L. Gay, F. D. Armstrong, D. Cohen, S. Lai, M. D. Hardy, T. P. Swales, C. J. Morrow, G. B. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Scopus citations


Objective. This study documents delays in the mental and motor functioning of infants perinatally infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) while controlling for confounding effects of prenatal drug exposure, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and maternal separation and death. Methods. The cognitive and motor development of 126 infants born to nondrug-using, HIV- seropositive Haitian women was assessed at 3-month intervals through 24 months of age using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. By 18 months of age, 28 of the infants were diagnosed as HIV-infected, and the 98 uninfected infants served as a control group. The infected and uninfected infants did not differ with respect to mean gestational age, birth weight, ethnicity, or rates of maternal separation and death. Results. By 3 months of age, the mean mental and motor scores of the infected infants were significantly lower than those of the uninfected controls. Furthermore, the initial differences between the two groups increased over time, as many of the infected infants became increasingly delayed. Although the infected infants tended to perform more poorly than the uninfected infants, nearly one third of the infected infants exhibited relatively normal cognitive development and half demonstrated relatively normal motor development. Conclusions. Over the first 24 months of life, the mean rate of development of HIV-infected infants is significantly slower than that of noninfected infants born to seropositive mothers. This occurs even when the effects are not confounded with those of prenatal drug exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1078-1082
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995



  • developmental delay
  • HIV
  • pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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