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HIV Children Live Longer Than Expected

It was found in Zimbabwe that children who were affected with AIDS continue to grow into adolescents with some aberrations//. This is much against the existing belief that HIV infected children will die before the age of five. The growth of these children is reported to be stunted and they face problems when they enter the age of puberty.

Scientists from the Wellcome Trust studied HIV affected children at a clinic in Harare. They inferred that at least one in four HIV kids survive into adolescence. These kids have been either infected at birth or during breast feeding.

Dr Liz Corbett, one of the researchers of this study reveals that the long term survival in AIDS cases is not generally expected without antiretroviral treatment. But the scenario in Zimbabwe and its neighbouring countries suggests that there is a possibility of one in four children to survive till late childhood or early adolescence without treatment or diagnosis.

According to Rashida Ferrand, lead author of this study, emphasis should be laid on prevention of mother to child infections during child birth and breast feeding. People should be educated on these issues. These findings will be published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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