Treatment of Children Living with HIV in China
Since the discovery of the first pediatric case of HIV in Mainland China in 1985, significant progress has been made in treating children and adolescents through the “Four Frees and One Care” policy. Additionally, since 2004, rapid improvements in access to, and quality of, care have been made through the development of a national treatment program, capacity building, and in-country manufacturing of various pediatric antiretroviral regimens. Overall, the early epidemic continues to be concentrated in central China, but has begun to mirror the distribution of the heterosexual epidemic among adults. Most cases are detected among the very youngest children, aged 0–3 years. Among adolescents, heterosexual transmission for girls and same-sex transmission among males are rapidly increasing. Despite the significant progress made, several challenges remain in treating and preventing HIV among children and adolescents, including rural–urban health disparities, understanding the mental health needs of this group, and weak sex education in schools.
The authors would like to thank Jennifer M. McGoogan for her input and editorial assistance.
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