HIV infection in adolescents: A rising concern

Modi, Megha; Sharma, Nidhi; Sharma, Archana; Marfatia, Y. S.
July 2008
Indian Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases;2008, Vol. 29 Issue 2, p73
Academic Journal
Almost a third of all people with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/(AIDS) Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome are between the ages of 15 and 24. Every minute, six young people under the age of 25 become infected with HIV. This study of HIV infection was carried out over a two-year period with 33 HIV-positive adolescents, at SSG hospital, Vadodara. The most common mode of transmission (MOT) was the vertical route in 21(64%) cases followed by the sexual route in four (12%) cases. The mean time for disease progression was 13 years in cases acquiring infection through vertical transmission (VT). Reasons for slow progression in these cases, in spite of the high prevalence of malnutrition and infectious diseases in a developing country like India, should be studied. Both parents were positive in 12 of 21 VT cases and eight were orphans. Multiple cases in the same family made treatment and care difficult. Only eight of the 21 VT cases were tested, due to positivity in their parents, while the rest were tested on being symptomatic, suggesting delayed testing. Late diagnosis led to a delay in the initiation of antiretroviral treatment (ART), influencing the growth and development of adolescents. Twenty-one cases sought treatment when they had already developed AIDS, thus preventing us from early intervention. Nine cases were on ART. These cases faced problems like dose adjustments, adherence, and availability of pediatric formulations.


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