Childhood human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is common in most regions of sub-Saharan Africa. Acute and chronic respiratory diseases are major causes of morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected children. They represent a significant added burden in a region where diagnostic capabilities are limited and management decisions are often made on the basis of clinical guidelines alone. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia is now recognised as an important cause of acute severe pneumonia and death in HIV-infected infants. However, there are few data on incidence and aetiology for more treatable conditions such as bacterial pneumonia. The association of pulmonary tuberculosis and HIV infection is uncertain, and the diagnosis is further confused by the presence of lymphoid interstitial pneumonitis and other chronic HIV-related pulmonary disease. This article reviews the literature and highlights the urgent need for further research in order to improve clinical management and appropriate interventions. [Summaries available in French and Spanish].
International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (2001) Volume 5, Number 1, pp. 12-23.