Clinical profile and natural history of children with HIV infection
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Objective: As the HIV infection spreads in India, increasing number of children are affected. We report the clinical manifestations, the laboratory parameters and follow up of these children.Methods: We reviewed case records of all children diagnosed as pediatric HIV infection since 1995 in our department at a tertiary care hospital in north India. Since, September 1999, all children with HIV infection registered in our clinic were prospectively followed up. Complete clinical and laboratory evaluation was performed at baseline and thereafter children were followed up. The children were managed according to standard treatment guidelines.Results: 109 children (82 boys, 27 girls) were diagnosed to have HIV infection. The median (range) age at presentation was 48 months (range: 0.75 months—180 months). Eighty one (74.3%) children acquired the infection vertically, Ninety-one (83.5%) children were symptomatic at time of presentation. The common symptoms in the former were failure to thrive (81.3%), recurrent fever (73.6%), diarrhea (50.5%) and recurrent or persistent pneumonia (44%). All children had poor nutritional status at baseline. Of the 67 children who followed up, 36 were receiving antiretroviral drugs (32 received 3 drugs), while families of 31 children did not opt for antiretroviral therapy. Children receiving antiretroviral therapy showed improvement in nutritional parameters.Conclusion: Majority of children with HIV infection presented with various clinical manifestations, poor nutritional status and immunosuppression. Administration of nevirapine based antiretroviral therapy leads to improvement in growth and immune restoration.
Key wordsHIV Children Antiretrovirals Natural history
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