Introduction Children and adolescents living with HIV/AIDS may suffer from a variety of hearing problems which are more frequent and sometimes more severe when compared to other children. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of hearing loss and its risk factors in children and adolescents attending the Childhood HIV Treatment Institute (ICr).
Methods Audiologic evaluation was conducted on patients attending at the ICr. Otoscopy was completed prior to audiologic evaluation which was composed of pure tone audiometry, tympanometry and tests of acoustic reflexes. We used the Bureau International d'Audio Phonologie (BIAP) classification to classify hearing loss. The statistical analysis was done using χ2 test and univariate and multiple logistic regression models.
Results The prevalence of hearing loss was 35.8%. From 106 patients, 22 (58.0%) had conductive hearing loss, 9 (23.6%) had mixed hearing loss and 7 (18.4%) had sensorineural hearing loss. The risk factors for hearing loss were the occurrence of suppurative otitis media (OR=5.7, p=0.001) and use of lamivudine (3TC) (OR=5.8, p=0.028).
Conclusion Hearing loss is an important side effect in children and adolescents with HIV/Aids. The occurrence of suppurative otitis media and the use of lamivudine contribute to hearing loss in this population. Early detection, evaluation and observation of hearing loss is extremely important in order to prevent severe auditory sequelae.