THURSDAY, November 30, 2023 — According to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, more babies and kids younger than 5 years old who are on antiretroviral therapy (ART) die than kids 5 years and older who are on ART.
Nickolas T. Agathis, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and his colleagues looked at death rates and other clinical measures in people with HIV who were younger than 1 year old, children aged 1 to 4, and older people aged 5 to 14, 15 to 49, and 50 years or older who were also living with HIV and receiving ART.
Between October 2020 and September 2022, an average of 11,980 babies younger than 1 year and 105,510 kids ages 1 to 4 years were getting ART every three months. Each year, 4.9% of the babies younger than 1 year and 2.5% of the kids ages 1 to 4 years died. Researchers discovered that the death rate for babies and kids younger than one year was four to nine times higher than for people aged five years and up who were getting ART. The death rate for kids aged one to four years was two to five times higher than for people aged five years and up. Children younger than 5 years old who lived with HIV were more likely to have treatment interruptions than people aged 5 years and up. On the other hand, fewer children younger than 5 years old had a confirmed HIV viral load result or a viral load that was lowered.
“”Prioritising and improving HIV and general health services for children aged 5 years and younger who are living with HIV and receiving ART might help address the fact that they have worse outcomes than other children in the same situation,” the authors write.
Disclaimer: Note that the statistical information in medical articles only shows broad trends and does not apply to specific people. Different things can make a big difference. When making decisions about your own health care, you should always get personalised medical advice.