Hearing loss in perinatally HIV-infected and HIV-exposed but uninfected children and adolescents

Peter Torre, Bret Zeldow, Howard J. Hoffman, Ashley Buchanan, George K. Siberry, Mabel Rice, Patricia A. Sirois, Paige L. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Little is known about hearing loss in children with HIV infection (HIV+). We examined the prevalence of hearing loss in perinatally HIV+ and HIV-exposed but uninfected (HEU) children, compared these with the percentage with hearing loss in the general population and evaluated possible risk factors for hearing loss in HIV+ and HEU children. Methods: Audiometric examinations were completed in children who met any prespecified criteria for possible hearing loss. The hearing examination consisted of a tympanogram in each ear and pure-tone air-conduction threshold testing from 500 through 4000 Hz. Hearing loss was defined as the pure-tone average over these frequencies 20 dB hearing level. The associations of demographic variables, parent/caregiver, HIV disease and HIV treatment with hearing loss were evaluated with univariate and multivariable logistic regression models. Results: Hearing testing was completed in 231 children (145 HIV+ and 86 HEU). Hearing loss occurred in 20.0% of HIV+ children and 10.5% of HEU children. After adjusting for caregiver education level, HIV infection was associated with increased odds of hearing loss (adjusted odds ratio = 2.13, 95% confidence interval: 0.95-4.76, P = 0.07). Among HIV+ children, those with a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention class C diagnosis had over twice the odds of hearing loss (adjusted odds ratio = 2.47, 95% confidence interval: 1.04-5.87, P = 0.04). The prevalence of hearing loss was higher in both HIV+ and HEU children compared with National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III children. Conclusions: Hearing loss was more common in both HIV+ and HEU children than in children from a US population sample. More advanced HIV illness increased the risk of hearing loss in HIV+ children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)835-841
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • antiretroviral therapy
  • hearing loss
  • perinatal HIV exposure
  • perinatal HIV infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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    Torre, P., Zeldow, B., Hoffman, H. J., Buchanan, A., Siberry, G. K., Rice, M., Sirois, P. A., & Williams, P. L. (2012). Hearing loss in perinatally HIV-infected and HIV-exposed but uninfected children and adolescents. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 31(8), 835-841. https://doi.org/10.1097/INF.0b013e31825b9524