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Pediatrics. 2002 Aug;110(2 Pt 1):e25.

Survival, disease manifestations, and early predictors of disease progression among children with perinatal human immunodeficiency virus infection in Thailand.

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  • 1Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.



To describe survival and signs of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in perinatally infected children in Thailand.


At 2 large Bangkok hospitals, 295 infants born to HIV-infected mothers were enrolled at birth from November 1992 through September 1994 and followed up with clinical and laboratory evaluations every 1 to 3 months for 18 months. Infected children remained in follow-up thereafter. For the infected children, we used data collected through October 2000 to estimate survival times and compare characteristics among those whose disease progressed at rapid (died within 1 year), intermediate (died at 1-5 years), and slow (survived at least 5 years) rates.


None of the 213 uninfected children died during the follow-up period. Of the 68 infected children, 31 (46%) died; median survival was 60 months (95% confidence interval: 31-89 months). The most common cause of death was pneumonia (52% of deaths). Thirty-two children (47%) started antiretroviral therapy. Six children died in their first year before developing specific signs of HIV infection; all others developed signs of HIV infection between 1 and 42 months old (median: 4 months). Severe clinical (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Class C) conditions were diagnosed in 23 children at a median age of 12 months, 15 (65%) of whom died a median of 3 months later. Compared with children whose disease progressed slowly, those whose disease progressed rapidly gained less weight by 4 months old (median 1.7 vs 2.6 kg), and their mothers had higher viral loads (median 5.1 vs 4.5 log(10) copies/mL) and lower CD4(+) counts (median 350 vs 470 cells/ micro L) at delivery.


Among HIV-infected Thai children, survival times are longer than among children in many African countries, but shorter than among children in the United States and Europe. Signs of HIV develop early in most children. Growth failure and advanced maternal disease can predict rapid HIV disease progression and may be useful markers for treatment decisions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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