HIV-infected children can live longer
Hundreds of thousands of HIV-infected children are born worldwide, more than 500,000 annually in 2006. Their treatment is difficult because their immune system is not fully developed in the first year of life, which puts them at risk of dying from AIDS earlier.
All over the world, these children are treated with virus reversal therapy, but only after showing signs of disease or low immunity.
A recent study shows that these children can live longer if they are treated immediately after birth with this therapy even if they show no signs of illness, reports Medline Plus News. The researchers also pointed out that the HIV virus should be diagnosed in the first 6 or 12 weeks of life.
Now it remains to be seen whether early treatment for a limited period can slow the evolution of the disease. Doctors say that continuous treatment of HIV is not recommended in babies because it completely destroys their immune system and this change in approach to the disease may allow certain breaks in their immune system to learn to work alone.
These experimental techniques will continue until 2011, but the results obtained until 2007 are promising because HIV-infected newborns are living longer.
August 16, 2007