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Paediatric HIV infection is a growing health challenge worldwide, with an estimated 1500 new infections every day. In developed countries, well established prevention programmes keep mother-to-child transmission rates at less than 2%. However, in developing countries, where transmission rates are 25-40%, interventions are available to only 5-10% of women. Children with untreated natural infection progress rapidly to disease, especially in resource-poor settings where mortality is greater than 50% by 2 years of age. As in adult infection, antiretroviral therapy has the potential to rewrite the natural history of HIV, but is accessible only to a small number of children needing therapy. We focus on the clinical and immunological features of HIV that are specific to paediatric infection, and the formidable challenges ahead to ensure that all children worldwide have access to interventions that have proved successful in developed countries.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





68 - 80


Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active, Child, Preschool, HIV Infections, Humans, Infant, Infant Mortality, Infant, Newborn, Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical, Pediatrics