About HIV Infection in InfantsAleix Cabrera2019-09-25T17:39:17+02:00
2.1 million children are living with HIV worldwide and 90% of them are in sub-Saharan Africa.
Although HIV-mother-to-child-transmission is decreasing due to the prevention policies, there were 160,000 newly infected children in 2016. Of those, only 43% received early HIV testing and less than a half received life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART).
In Africa, 10% of infants die during the first year of life, even if on early antiretroviral treatment (ART). In absence of ART, infants with perinatally-acquired HIV have even higher mortality and should be considered in advanced disease at presentation.
Pneumonia is the main cause of death in HIV-infected children. A significant amount of undiagnosed or poorly treated HIV-infected children present with severe pneumonia in the health systems. Even for those children who are hospitalized, mortality is extremely high despite prompt ART initiation.
The high mortality risk observed despite accelerated ART in children who presented with advanced HIV disease emphasizes the need for further strategies to improve survival.