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'Short Lag' Seen In Kids' HIV Treatments

New Pediatric HIV Treatments Not Always Used Immediately, Study Shows
By
WebMD Health News

May 10, 2005 -- New pediatric HIV treatments have "a short lag" before catching on, a study in The Journal of the American Medical Association shows.

The lag is reported by researchers including Susan Brogly, PhD, of the Center for Biostatistics in AIDS Research.

Great strides have been made in developing treatments for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Still, more work is needed to save children in America and around the world, says a journal editorial by Ram Yogev, MD.

"While it is possible to celebrate the tremendous change in the outcomes of HIV-infected children treated with HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy), it is even more important to continue to prioritize research for the survivors who are now living with a chronic disease," writes Yogev, who works in the infectious diseases division of Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

HIV's Global Reach

Nearly 40 million people worldwide live with HIV, and 2.2 million of them are younger than 15 years old, says the World Health Organization (WHO).

The U.S. has a relatively small number of children with HIV/AIDS, says the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

There were a reported 9,300 children living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. from 1981 through 2002, says the NIAID, citing CDC data. Minorities were disproportionately affected, especially African-Americans.

Almost all HIV-infected children get the virus from their mothers before or during birth, or through breastfeeding. Some have contracted HIV from sexual and physical abuse from infected adults, or from tainted blood before the U.S. began screening its blood supply for HIV, says NIAID.

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