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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2011 Sep;30(9):773-7. doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e31821b11ab.

AIDS morbidity and mortality in Brazilian children before and after highly active antiretroviral treatment implementation: an assessment of regional trends.

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Department of Community Health, School of Medicine, Federal University of CearĂ¡, Fortaleza, Brazil.



The objective of this study was to analyze regional trends over time of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) cases and deaths in Brazilian children, before and after implementation of free access to highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART).


We performed a nation-wide study with an ecologic design and a time-series analysis of AIDS incidence and mortality rates in children (0-12 years of age), using polynomial regression models. Data were obtained from official national databases on age group, residence region, and year of AIDS diagnosis and death (1984-2008).


Between 1984 and 2008, 14,314 (2.7%) AIDS cases and 5041 deaths (2.3% of all AIDS-related deaths) were reported in Brazilian children. Incidence after 1996 was reduced by 23%, as compared with the pre-HAART era. The mortality rate observed in the HAART era was reduced by 63.6%. There was a significant reduction in the incidence in the Southeast and Central-West regions (P < 0.001), but the less industrialized North region showed an increase in the pre-HAART era (P < 0.001), and the Northeast region showed a stabilization trend (P < 0.001). In the South region, the incidence of AIDS increased in the 0 to 4 years subgroup. A reduction of AIDS mortality in the Southeast (P < 0.001), South, and Central-West regions (P < 0.001) was seen, but the Northeast and North regions maintained an increasing mortality trend (P < 0.001).


Despite the overall reduction in AIDS-related cases and deaths among children in Brazil since HAART, marked regional differences continue to exist. These reflect structural factors, different transmission dynamics, and operational issues. There is a need for improving the health service network with special emphasis on the less developed regions.

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