Significant advances have been made in the understanding of the pathophysiology of HIV infection since the beginning of the epidemic. This knowledge has translated into the development of new therapies for HIV and opportunistic infections, laboratory advances in monitoring viral and immune status, and a better understanding of factors affecting patient outcome. Concomitantly, significant progress has been made in the medical management of children with HIV infection in the past 5 years. The number of children reported with AIDS in the United States is decreasing, and efforts are shifting from caring for children with advanced immunosuppression and severe opportunistic infections to early HAART, maintenance of the immune system, and prevention of opportunistic infections. Primary care physicians are now more involved and informed in the care of HIV-infected patients. Although published data are limited, physicians who have been working with this population have observed a dramatic improvement in the quality of life and length of survival of these patients. Unfortunately, this progress is not shared by developing countries where resources are minimal and antiretroviral agents are commonly unavailable. Although efforts to develop a vaccine to prevent HIV infection are ongoing, progress has been slow. Education and awareness continue to be the most powerful weapons against HIV.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health