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Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2012 Jul;10(7):761-74. doi: 10.1586/eri.12.60.

The glory of guidelines and the twilight of reality: controversies and challenges in the prevention and treatment of HIV in children.

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Department of Pediatrics and Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, 2015 Uppergate Drive, Atlanta, GA, USA.


Since the discovery of HIV 30 years ago, we have learned much about HIV in children and adolescents. Dramatic declines have occurred in mother-to-child transmission of HIV in resource-rich countries. Resource-poor countries struggle with improving prevention of mother-to-child transmission due to the lack of universal antiretroviral treatment for pregnant and nursing mothers. In children infected with HIV, pharmacokinetic, safety and efficacy data have been determined for many of the older drugs. Data are lacking for the newer, safer and more effective currently available drugs, resulting in the pediatric guidelines lagging behind adult recommendations. Although guidelines for prevention and treatment are helpful, the way they are created causes them to lag behind new scientific evidence, and in some situations they will be confusing or only based on expert opinion. Improving prevention of HIV infection in adolescents and young adults and in treating those who become HIV infected is crucially important. The next 10 years hold tremendous opportunities for improvements in prevention and treatment of HIV in children, adolescents and young adults.

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