Use of Antiretroviral Therapy in Children and Pregnant Women
The pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of HIV infection in children are distinct from the same process in adults, with differences which provide unique opportunities to understand the nature of HIV infection in both categories of patients. Within the pediatric population, the relatively uniform time of infection (close to the time of birth) means that a large group of patients is available for studies of early intervention. In addition, because the disease tends to progress more quickly in children than adults, studies which require clinical endpoints may be able to be completed more quickly or with fewer individuals. Finally, preliminary studies of viral load in infants indicate that their immune system may be unable to control HIV replication well, permitting maintenance of high viral copy numbers at a time when adults have declining amounts of virus. Thus, there may be a particular role for antiviral therapy in the early suppression of virus during infancy, allowing the immune system time to mature in order to respond to the infection.
KeywordsHuman Immunodeficiency Virus Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type Human Immunodeficiency Virus Transmission Intravenous Immune Globulin Symptomatic Human Immunodeficiency Virus
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