Pediatric HIV— A Neglected Disease?


The results of the HIV Prevention Trials Network 052 ( number, NCT00074581) study were released this past May, 30 years after the first publication about U.S. cases of what would come to be called AIDS. The new study's stunning results — earlier treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection leads to a 96% reduction in the risk of HIV transmission within sero-discordant couples — will influence guidelines in the direction of even earlier initiation of anti-retroviral therapy. The notions of “test and treat” and “treatment as prevention” come as no surprise to anyone who has been involved in the fields of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and paediatric HIV care. This paper discusses the state of treatment options for children with HIV in low- and middle-income countries, including the barriers to prevention, such as low antenatal care attendance particularly in rural areas; lack of access HIV testing for most pregnant women; insufficient access to optimal anti-retroviral prophylaxis or therapy; and uncommon alternatives to breast-feeding. It also discusses the involvement of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) on the prevention and the fight against HIV infection in children in low- and middle-income countries.


Lallemant, M.; Chang, S.; Cohen, R.; Pecoul, B. Pediatric HIV— A Neglected Disease? New England Journal of Medicine (2011) 365 (7) 581-583.

Published 1 January 2011