Children Living With HIV/AIDS: The Reality Of A Neglected Disease

By Henry Tyler, Parent Herald November 25, 08:34 pm
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Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome,which destroys the entire immune system is caused by human immunodeficiency virus known as HIV.

Three million children are infected with this deadly virus all around the world. AIDS is the worst outcome of HIV infection.People develop AIDS when sufficient CD4 count has reduced to an extent that immune system has suppressed eventually making people prone to any kind of illness they will encounter at first hand, according to News Medical.

There are many modes of HIV transmission in children.Blood and blood products play the major role in this regard but according to research conducted, it has been found out the role of blood transfusion in HIV transmission is minimal as adequate precautions are taken. Other modes of transmission of this particular virus are breastfeeding, from the mother before birth, during labor, delivery and after birth, according to WebMD.

The women who are diagnosed HIV positive are at a risk of transferring the virus to their children during and after pregnancy process.Women who have high viral load ,are also at a risk of transferring the virus through breastfeeding. The latter cases of transference through milk accounts for thirteen percent of the entire cases.However, preventive measures can be taken to avoid fatal consequences.

This is a disease without any symptoms.This thing of not developing any apparent symptoms is the worst of all.Symptoms do not develop during first few months.Children given antiretroviral therapy often develop a few symptoms within one or two years.Those who are still not given the therapy take five or more years,but all have been reported to develop an infection at the time of birth.

The most common symptoms are delayed growth,diarrhea,enlarged lymph nodes,enlarged spleen,inflamed kidney,anemia etc.Bacterial infections like the middle ear infection,pneumonia etc are also common. Before antiretroviral therapy children were unable to reach an age of four years, but after the employment of this therapy the risk has reduced and children often survive beyond four years of age.

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