Clinical profile of HIV positive children

Swati M. Bapat


Backgrounds: HIV infection has become a pandemic affecting both industrialized and developing countries. The increase in pediatric HIV infection has had a substantial impact on childhood mortality both in industrialized countries and developing countries. The present research was carried out to study the clinical profile of pediatric patients admitted with HIV infection.

Method: Total 55 cases of aged 1 month to 12 years, detected to be HIV-positive (on triple ELISA test) were enrolled in the study. HIV status of patients 18 months of age was confirmed by DNA-PCR testing. The demographic data of the patients, clinical features, investigations and outcome were recorded.

Results: The majority [34 (61.81%)] of cases were in below 5 years of age with male predominant 38 (69.09%). The predominant route of transmission of HIV to the child was by perinatal transmission [51 (92.72%)] while four cases (7.27%) were infected via blood transfusion. Clinical features at presentation in 49 symptomatic cases included protein-energy malnutrition (89.79%), fever ˃1 month (55.10%), weight loss ˃1 month (51.02%), persistent generalized lymphadenopathy (22.44%) and skin manifestations (75.51%). The gastrointestinal (61.22%) and respiratory (57.14%) were the most commonly involved organ systems. Opportunistic infections were tuberculosis (21 cases), candidiasis (8 cases), Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (3 cases), herpes zoster (4 cases) and giardiasis (1case). The mortality of the study was 9.09%.

Conclusions: Perinatal transmission is the most common mode of acquiring HIV in the pediatric age group. Most patients have protein-energy malnutrition. Tuberculosis should be regarded as the indicator disease for HIV infection in children.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), ELISA, DNA-PCR, Tuberculosis, Giardiasis

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