Wednesday, July 17, 2024

How Do Children Get Hiv

How Do I Get Hiv

How do we get more people on HIV treatment? And eliminate HIV infections among children?

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The lesson How Do I Get HIV/AIDS? is part 34 of a 35 part series on human development, the human body, health, and safety. This lesson teaches basic facts about the HIV/AIDS virus and the methods of passing the virus to others. This resource includes a lesson plan for the teacher on how to prepare beforehand, class-time content to facilitate learning, hands-on activities facilitating further learning, and a teacher assessment at the end. This lesson is designed for a group of children between the ages of 9 and 11, and is the thirty-fourth physical development lesson in the Core Curriculum, 9-11 years, Year Two.

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What Factors Increase The Risk Of Hiv In Adolescents

Several factors make it challenging to prevent adolescents from getting HIV. Many adolescents lack basic information about HIV and how to protect themselves from HIV.

The following are some factors that put adolescents at risk of HIV:

  • Low rates of condom use. Always using a condom correctly during sex reduces the risk of HIV and some other sexually transmitted diseases .
  • High rates of STDs among youth. An STD increases the risk of getting or spreading HIV.
  • Alcohol or drug use. Adolescents under the influence of alcohol or drugs may engage in risky behaviors, such as having sex without a condom.

How Is Hiv Transmitted Or Spread

The following are the means by which the HIV virus is spread:

  • Vertical transmission. HIV can be spread to babies born to, or breastfed by, mothers infected with the virus.

  • Sexual contact. In adults and adolescents, HIV is spread most commonly by sexual contact with an infected partner. The virus enters the body through the lining of the vagina, vulva, penis, rectum, or abraded or irritated tissues in the lining of the mouth through sexual activity.

  • Blood contamination. HIV may also be spread through contact with infected blood. However, due to the screening of donated blood for evidence of HIV infection, the risk of acquiring HIV from blood transfusions is extremely low.

  • Needles. HIV is frequently spread by sharing needles, syringes, or drug use equipment with someone who is infected with the virus. Transmission from patient to health care worker, or vice-versa, through accidental sticks with contaminated needles or other medical instruments, is rare.

No known cases of HIV/AIDS have been spread by the following:

  • Saliva

  • Malaise

  • Enlarged lymph nodes

An HIV-infected child is usually diagnosed with AIDS when the immune system becomes severely damaged or other types of infections occur. As the immune system deteriorates, complications begin to develop. The following are some common complications, or symptoms, of the onset of AIDS. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

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How Is Hiv Diagnosed In Children

HIV antibody testing is done in children aged 18 months and above, who may show signs of HIV infection or those who are born to HIV+ve mother . The testing is usually done in two steps: a screening enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay followed by the Western blot test for confirming the HIV antibody .

The EIA test involves testing of blood samples or oral fluid collected from the gums and cheeks of the patients to determine the HIV antibodies. The Western Blot test also involves blood testing by separating the blood proteins and identifying the protein that indicates HIV infection.

Both the tests must yield positive results to confirm the diagnosis. If the child gets exposed to HIV through other sources and shows the symptoms, but the test results are negative, then the test must be repeated later.

Treatment must begin soon enough if the diagnosis confirms HIV infection.

Drug Resistance And Treatment Costs

Paediatric Society of Ghana  official website ...

Although the cost of initial ART for children has reduced dramatically due to the availability of generic drugs, if a child develops drug resistance and needs to begin a second line of drugs, treatment becomes far more expensive.66

In fact, HIV drug resistance to the select few medications which are palatable among children is becoming an increasing concern among health practitioners with more children developing treatment resistant strains of the virus as a result of the scale up of prevention of mother-to-child transmission programmes. For infants exposed to PMTCT programmes, the WHO has also estimated that there is a HIVDR prevalence of 21.6%, compared to just 8.3% among those with no treatment exposure.

In 2017, the results from a five-year-long study observing the efficacy of treatment in Zambia found that 40% of infants diagnosed with HIV in Lusaka had resistance to at least one ART drug by 2014 compared to 21.5% in 2009.67

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Prevention Of Transmission For Infected Mothers

Current preventive therapy for infected pregnant women is highly effective at minimizing transmission. HIV-infected pregnant women should begin antiretroviral therapy by mouth. Ideally, ART should begin as soon as HIV infection is diagnosed and women are ready to follow the therapy as directed. HIV-infected pregnant women who are already on ART should continue the therapy throughout the pregnancy. HIV-infected women should also continue ART when trying to get pregnant.

In addition to maternal ART, the antiretroviral drug zidovudine is often given by vein during labor and delivery to the mother. ZDV is then given to the HIV-exposed newborn by mouth twice a day for the first 4 to 6 weeks of life . Treatment of mothers and children in this way reduces the rate of transmission from 25% to 1% or less. Also, cesarean delivery Cesarean Delivery Cesarean delivery is surgical delivery of a baby by incision through a womans abdomen and uterus. In the United States, up to 30% of deliveries are cesarean. Doctors use a cesarean delivery… read more done before labor begins may reduce the newborn’s risk of acquiring HIV infection. Doctors may recommend cesarean delivery for women whose infection was not well controlled by ART. After delivery, ART is continued for all HIV-infected women.

How Is Hiv/aids Diagnosed

Early HIV infection often causes no symptoms, and must be detected by testing a person’s blood for the presence of antibodiesdisease-fighting proteinsagainst HIV. These HIV antibodies generally do not reach levels high enough to detect by standard blood tests until 1 to 3 months following infection, and may take as long as 6 months. People exposed to HIV should be tested for HIV infection as soon as they think they may have been exposed to HIV.

When a person is highly likely to be infected with HIV and yet antibody tests are negative, a test for the presence of HIV itself in the blood is used. Repeat antibody testing at a later date, when antibodies to HIV are more likely to have developed, is often recommended.

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What Is The Difference Between Hiv And Aids

  • Someone can be infected with HIV for many years with no signs of disease, or only mild-to-moderate symptoms
  • The CDC identifies someone as having AIDS, if he or she is living with HIV and has one or both of these conditions:
  • At least one AIDS-defining opportunistic infection
  • A CD4 cell count of 200 cells/mm3 or less
  • When people are diagnosed with HIV, they will always live with HIV. Regardless of how low their viral load may be even if it becomes “undetectable” they will never go back to being HIV-negative.
  • For more information, see our fact sheet “What Are HIV & AIDS?”

    Getting Pregnant When A Male Partner Is Hiv

    #AskTheHIVDoc: Can someone with HIV have children? (1:00)

    If a male partner is HIV-positive, a procedure called sperm washing can be used to conceive. During this procedure a machine separates sperm cells from the seminal fluid, which can carry the virus. The washed sperm is then used to fertilise the womans egg using a special catheter inserted into the uterus.

    If the male partner is on effective treatment and has a stable undetectable viral load, there is no risk of HIV transmission.

    In-vitro-fertilisation may also be an option.

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    How Do Children Get Hiv

    Young children with HIV almost always got the virus from their HIV-infected mother before or during birth. Because the virus is in breast milk, breastfeeding can transmit the virus.

    Older children and teens can be infected by:

    • Having sex with someone who has HIV

    • Being exposed to blood from someone with HIV

    • Sharing needles used by someone with HIV

    Because blood donations are tested for HIV, almost no infections happen from blood transfusion in the US, Canada, or Western Europe.

    HIV is not spread by:

    • Food

    • Touching or sharing household items

    • Touching, kissing, or being around an infected person at home, work, or school

    Hiv Testing For Children

    Access to HIV testing in children over 18 months of age remains poor in many countries, creating a bottleneck for the scale-up of treatment.52

    Screening children for HIV at inpatients sites and nutrition clinics, alongside testing in the context of PMTCT programmes, provides the best opportunities for diagnosing HIV infections in children that might otherwise go undetected.53

    Many HIV-positive children in low and middle-income countries remain undiagnosed. For example, one estimate from Kenya suggests that only 40% of children with HIV are diagnosed.54

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    Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection In Children

    , MD, Golisano Childrens Hospital

    • Human immunodeficiency virus infection is caused by the viruses HIV-1 and HIV-2 and, in young children, is typically acquired from the mother at the time of birth.

    • Signs of infection include slowed growth, enlargement of lymph nodes in several areas of the body, developmental delay, recurring bacterial infections, and lung inflammation.

    • The diagnosis is based on special blood tests.

    • Children who receive anti-HIV drug therapy can live to adulthood.

    • Infected mothers can prevent transmitting the infection to their newborn by taking antiretroviral therapy, feeding their newborn formula rather than breast milk, and, for some women, undergoing a cesarean delivery.

    • Children are treated with the same drugs as adults.

    There are two human immunodeficiency viruses:

    • HIV-1

    • HIV-2

    Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is the most severe form of HIV infection. A child with HIV infection is considered to have AIDS when at least one complicating illness develops or when there is a significant decline in the body’s ability to defend itself from infection.

    Although the number of HIV-infected infants and children living in the United States continues to decrease, the number of HIV-infected adolescents and young adults is increasing. The number is increasing because children who were infected as infants are surviving longer and new cases are developing in adolescents and young adults, particularly in young men who have sex with men.

    More About Hiv Transmission

    You cannot get HIV or AIDS by:

    When youre born with HIV, the virus was passed to you from your mother. But mother-to-child transmission is not the only way in which HIV is transmitted. More commonly, HIV is passed on via sex or by injecting drugs with shared injecting equipment.

    Transmission is dependent on the HIV positive persons viral load if the viral load is undetectable, the virus cant be passed on.

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    Getting Pregnant When You Are Hiv

    If you want to conceive, are an HIV-positive woman with an HIV-negative male partner, you can choose artificial insemination. You can do this at home using your partners semen, rather than having unprotected sex.

    To improve your chances of becoming pregnant through artificial insemination it is best to do it at the most fertile time in your menstrual cycle.

    Learning about fertility awareness will help you to know when you are most likely to conceive.

    Speak to your GP, HIV doctor, sexual health nurse, or fertility specialist.

    Getting Pregnant When Both Parents Have Hiv

    Seroconcordant couples , can have an HIV-negative child. If both partners are on treatment, the risk of either partner transmitting HIV to their baby is almost zero.

    If you are a seroconcordant couple and you are thinking of becoming pregnant it is important to speak with an obstetrician and an HIV specialist to minimise the risk of transmitting HIV to your baby.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Hiv/aids

    Some people may develop a flu-like illness within a month after exposure to the HIV virus. But many people do not develop any symptoms at all when they first become infected. In addition, the symptoms that do appear, which usually disappear within a week to a month, are often mistaken for those of another viral infection. These may include:

    • Fever

    • Malaise

    • Enlarged lymph nodes

    Persistent or severe symptoms may not surface for 10 years or more after HIV first enters the body in adults, or within 2 years in children born with an HIV infection. This “asymptomatic” period of the infection is highly variable from person to person. But, during the asymptomatic period, HIV is actively infecting and killing cells of the immune system. Its most obvious effect is a decline in the blood levels of CD4+ T cells a key immune system infection fighter. The virus initially disables or destroys these cells without causing symptoms.

    As the immune system deteriorates, complications begin to surface. The following are the most common complications, or symptoms, of AIDS. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

    Some people develop frequent and severe herpes infections that cause mouth, genital, or anal sores, or a painful nerve disease known as shingles. Children may have delayed development or failure to thrive.

    Diagnosis Of Hiv Infection In Children

    Aids – Everything you need to know
    • Prenatal screening

    • Blood tests

    • After diagnosis, frequent monitoring

    The diagnosis of HIV infection in children begins with the identification of HIV infection in pregnant women through routine prenatal screening of blood. Rapid tests for HIV can be done while women are in labor and delivery suites at the hospital. These tests can provide results in minutes to hours.

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    Taking Care Of Yourself

    Any childhood illness can be hard for parents as well as for their kids. As a parent, you might find yourself wishing that you could take the sickness away from your child. You may feel upset because the medication that you need to give your child causes them distress. You may feel helpless when there is not a good way to explain the situation to your child. Remember that these are normal experiences and feelings for any parent.

    It is as important to take care of yourself as it is to take care of your child living with HIV. Here are some tips:

    • Find information and resources at a local AIDS service organization
    • If you feel alone, find other parents who can understand and provide support. If there are no other parents nearby who have children living with HIV, find a group for parents of children with other on-going health care needs or look for an internet group.
    • If you are living with HIV, take care of your own emotional and physical health. Many parents put their childrens health first. You need to stay healthy to help your child.
    • If you have other children, find special time for them too.
    • While you want your child to be healthy and safe, it is important to allow him or her to enjoy normal childhood experiences.
    • Remember that it is okay to ask for help from family and friends. While being a parent is a full-time job, sometimes being a good parent means taking a break!

    Hiv Prevention Programmes For Children

    In June 2011 UNAIDS and the United States Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief launched the ‘Global Plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive along with 22 countries, which, at the time, accounted for 90% of the global number of pregnant women living with HIV. The Global Plan galvanised global and national political will and action, resulting in some of the most impressive and significant gains in the history of the HIV response.21

    The Start Free, Stay Free, AIDS Free initiative, which was launched in 2016 and is led by UNAIDS and PEPFAR, aims to build on the progress achieved under the Global Plan to scale up HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services for children, adolescents and young women. The initiative aims to elevate and amplify efforts that are already accelerating progress, including the DREAMS Partnership, the Accelerating Childrens HIV/AIDS Treatment Initiative and ALL-IN.22

    This approach adopts a lifecycle approach to programming, which means it responds to the changing contexts that people face at different ages.23

    The Start Free, Stay Free, AIDS Free initiative has three parts:

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    How Does Hiv Affect The Growth And Development Of A Child

    Studies show that HIV infection in children can retard physical and mental development. HIV positive children are found to have neurological problems, cognitive development stagnation, learning difficulties, and speech and language problems. Also, the virus can have a physiological effect, wherein the child has difficulty in gaining weight.

    That said, the child may not necessarily show a delay in both cognitive and motor development. They can also have only one developmental delay, and it may appear early or by the age of two .

    HIV can make a child vulnerable to various illnesses. However, it can be controlled through preventive measures and by ensuring the child is not exposed to unhygienic practices in hospitals or elsewhere. Also, timely treatment can help prolong the childs life.

    Do you have any experience to share with us? Let us know in the comment section below.


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