Washington: Once facing an almost certain death, most children born with HIV are now faring well into adolescence and adulthood, says a study.
"About two-thirds of these kids, at this point, don`t have a virus detectable in the blood," said Russel Van Dyke, professor in paediatric infectious diseases at Tulane University, who led the study.
"While they are still infected and they are not cured, it`s surprising how well they`re doing, considering what they`ve been through," said Van Dyke, also an expert in infectious diseases, reports the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
The Paediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study was tracking the effects and complications of a lifetime of infection and its treatment, according to a Tulane statement.
"We`re not seeing the deaths we used to see due to infections, but we`re starting to worry about longer-term complications," said Van Dyke. "Some of these complications may be related to the HIV itself, or some may be related to the medications these kids are on."
The complications that Van Dyke looked at in the study range from coronary artery disease to neurological and cognitive problems.
"These kids are doing very well," said Van Dyke. "They`re going to school and doing all of the things that kids should do. Hopefully, they will be living 50 or 60 years or more, so what`s going to happen 40 years from now is the real concern."
The other good news, according to Van Dyke, was that cases of newborns with HIV were becoming increasingly rare. Mother-to-baby transmission of HIV has been nearly eradicated because of advances in treatment.