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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1998 Mar;37(3):175-8.

Lack of evidence of transmission of HIV-1 to family contacts of HIV-1 infected children.

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Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Ahmanson Pediatric Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Although a number of studies have documented that casual household contact does not result in the transmission of HIV, isolated cases of person-to-person transmission have been reported. We report a study of household transmission in which the families were unaware the children were infected with HIV and thus took no precautions to prevent transmission. Twenty-two family members of nine transfusion-associated HIV-infected children were studied for transmission of HIV in households. There was a total of 174 person-year of household exposure; 76 of these exposure years were before the diagnosis of HIV infection in the index child. All family members tested negative for HIV by ELISA. Sharing household facilities, and interactions with the infected child including kissing, bathing, sleeping with, and helping to bathe, dress, and eat, did not result in transmission. Interactions that could theoretically result in person-to-person transmission occurred in these households such as caring for nose bleeds, biting, and home health care procedures. The findings of this and other studies support the participation of HIV-infected infants and children in out-of-home care programs. It remains prudent, however, to observe current recommendations for prevention of HIV-1 for all individuals regardless of whether HIV status is known.

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