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Presse Med. 2011 Jul-Aug;40(7-8):e338-57. doi: 10.1016/j.lpm.2010.11.02. Epub 2011 Feb 3.

[Survival, clinical and biological outcomes of HIV-infected children treated by antiretroviral therapy in Africa: systematic review, 2004-2009].

[Article in French]

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Université Victor-Segalen Bordeaux 2, institut de santé publique, d'épidémiologie et de développement (ISPED), 33076 Bordeaux, France.



With 2.1 million HIV-infected children in 2008 in the world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, the paediatric HIV/AIDS care remains an important public health challenge and is principally based on cotrimoxazole prophylaxis and antiretroviral treatments. This paper aims to review the effectiveness of cotrimoxole prophylaxis and antiretroviral treatment in HIV-infected children in Africa, specifically mortality and treatment outcomes.


In two times, we searched the online databases PubMed™ and Scopus™ for articles and abstracts published in English and French between January 2004 and November 2009, with the following terms : « HIV » and « Africa » and ["paediatric" or "children" or "child"] and ["mortality" or "survival"] and ["cotrimoxazole" or "prophylaxis"] at the first time, « HIV » and « Africa » and ["paediatric" or "children" or "child"] and ["mortality" or "survival"] and ["antiretroviral"] and ["treatment" or "therapy"] at the second time. Longitudinal studies on HIV-infected children under cotrimoxazole prophylaxis or antiretroviral treatment were selected when survival outcomes were reported.


The probability of death was significantly reduced by 43% where children received cotrimoxazole prophylaxis compared to placebo. Compared to the survival without treatment, the benefit of antiretroviral therapy on HIV-infected children survival was evident in all publications but early mortality was observed within the six first months of antiretroviral treatment. Over fifty percent of deaths occurred in this period. Severe malnutrition, anaemia and lower CD4% were identified as mortality predicting factors in both children received cotrimoxazole prophylaxis or treated by antiretroviral therapy.


Better knowledge of determinants of early mortality for these children are important to optimized their survival and improve their quality of care and life. Finally, the beneficial effect of cotrimoxazole prophylaxis when associated with antiretroviral treatment has not been reported and need to be exploring in detail for more information.

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