Clinical and Immunological Characteristics of HIV-Positive AIDS in Children in Northern Israel
E. Kedem, A. Etzioni, E. Shahar, S. Pollack
Institute of Immunology, Allergy and AIDS and Dept. of Pediatrics A, Rambam Medical Center and B. Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, The Technion, Haifa
We are treating 11 children in our AIDS clinic. All were infected by vertical transmission from carrier mothers. However, among 31 HIV-carrier AIDS patients who were under follow-up during pregnancy, supposedly taking zidovudine prophylaxis, only 1 (3.3%) gave birth to a baby infected with HIV. Our children with HIV and AIDS are 3 months to 12 years of age (average 4.5 years); mean age at diagnosis was 18 months. All are either symptomatic or have laboratory evidence of progressive immunodeficiency, 1 is asymptomatic (N2), 1 has mild symptoms (A2) and the rest present significant symptoms or AIDS-defining disease. All have moderate to severe immunodeficiency, as evidenced by CD4+ cells counts. 60% have rapidly progressive disease, based on their symptomatology and immune state, whereas clinical reports in the literature point to only 10-15%. However, the average CD4+ cell count was 22% (749/mm³) at diagnosis and 22% (759/mm³) at last follow-up. These stable findings during an average follow-up of 28 months probably reflect the effect of medical and supportive treatment.
All received antiretroviral medication consisting of a combination of 2 or 3 drugs. 8 of 11 also received prophylactic treatment against opportunistic infections and 8 of 11 are clinically well. Routine follow-up and a good relationship with the patient's family increase cooperation and promote optimal medical treatment, and consequently improve the clinical condition and quality of life.