Women with HIV can infect their babies while they’re pregnant or during delivery. HIV can also be passed from mother to baby through breast milk. Treatment for HIV has come a long way in recent years. Today, many children living with HIV thrive into adulthood. HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system. That makes children with HIV more vulnerable to infections and disease. The right treatment can help prevent illness and keep HIV from progressing. Between 6,000 and 7,000 children are born to HIV-infected mothers each year in the United States.
What Are the Signs & Symptoms of HIV in Children?
Early HIV infection often causes no symptoms and must be detected by testing a person's blood. But in some people when first infected with HIV, a person may have a fever, swollen glands, a rash, muscle aches, lack of energy, delayed growth and development, repeated or prolonged infections that don’t respond well to treatment, and failure to thrive.
After a few years, other symptoms start, like diarrhea, weight loss, and problems with infections. Without treatment, HIV can lead to a very weakened immune system and become AIDS.
Treatment for HIV/AIDS
As with many other conditions, early detection offers more choices for treatment. Today, there are medical treatments that not only can slow down the rate at which HIV weakens the immune system, but also may keep HIV in check so that the individual has a chance to live a normal life span. Unfortunately, there is no cure for an HIV infection. Talk with your healthcare provider for more information regarding various drug therapies for the treatment of HIV/AIDS.
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