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Anti-HIV Therapy for Kids Prevents Opportunistic Infections

Anti-HIV Therapy for Kids Prevents Opportunistic Infections

BOSTON, July 18 -- The modern era of anti-HIV treatment has dramatically reduced the rate of opportunistic infections among HIV-positive children and adolescents, according to researchers here.

For the most common infections, children and adolescents treated with highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) have had significant declines compared with children before the HAART era began in 1996, found Philimon Gona, Ph.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health and Boston University here.

Because of advances in therapy, opportunistic and other infections are uncommon in HIV-positive children today, as well as being lower than in the pre-HAART era, Dr. Gona and colleagues reported in the July 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The researchers arrived at their conclusions by retrospectively studying the rate of 29 infections in 2,767 HIV-infected infants, children, and adolescents who were enrolled in the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group (PACTG) 219C from Jan. 1, 2001, to Dec. 31, 2004. PATCG 219C is a continuing prospective cohort study with the aim of studying the long-term consequences of HIV infection, treatment effects, and interactions of HIV disease and therapy in American infants, children, and adolescents.

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