Antiretroviral therapy for the management of HIV in children

Frigati, L. ; Cotton, M. ; Rabie, H. (2014-12)

Please cite as follows: Frigati, L., Cotton, M. & Rabie, H. 2014. Antiretroviral therapy for the management of HIV in children. South African Medical Journal, 104(12):898, doi:10.7196/SAMJ.9091.

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Since 2004, when antiretroviral therapy (ART) was first available to children through the National Department of Health, there has been significant progress in preventing and treating paediatric HIV. Large cohort studies and prospective trials confirmed that young children require early diagnosis with rapid access to ART regardless of CD4+ lymphocyte count. Studies also confirmed the importance of ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitors during therapy, regardless of prior nevirapine exposure. As prevention strengthens and the paediatric population ages, the goal posts are shifting towards even earlier diagnosis, targeting newborn infants on the first day of life and also the perinatally infected adolescent. There is an increasing focus on the long-term health, social, developmental and scholastic outcomes of HIV-infected children. Clinicians require new skills to assist children with transition into adulthood. In this article we focus on the care of infants and children.

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