Disease Information

Infectious Diseases: Pediatric HIV / AIDS

Alternate Names: Human immunodeficiency virus; acquired immune deficiency syndrome

Definition

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which attacks the body’s immune system. This assault makes the infected person susceptible to opportunistic infections normally fought off by a healthy immune system. HIV is spread through blood and certain other bodily fluids. About 90 percent of children with HIV are infected through their HIV-positive mothers, either before or during birth.

Incidence

Survival Rates

Currently there is no cure for HIV / AIDS. With new therapies, however, HIV has become a chronic disease, and infected persons are living many years. This increased survival rate requires life-long medication.

Current Research

The best hope for treating HIV / AIDS may be finding the right combination of drugs to stop the mother-to-infant transmission of the virus and inhibit the replication of HIV within an infected person’s body. Discovery of new medications and the best way to administer them with the fewest side effects is a major goal of our researchers.

 

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