Emerging pediatric HIV epidemic related to migration

Emerg Infect Dis. 2006 Apr;12(4):612-7. doi: 10.3201/eid1204.051025.


In 2002, Canada introduced routine, mandatory HIV antibody screening for all residency applicants, including selected children. We report screening results from January 2002 to February 2005. Thirty-six pediatric HIV cases were detected (14/100,000 applicants); 94% of infected children were eligible to arrive in Canada. Thirty-two of the affected children were from Africa, and maternal infection was the main risk factor. Only 4 (11%) of the children had received antiretroviral therapy. In countries of low HIV incidence, migration-related imported infection in children may be an emerging epidemic. The early identification of HIV-infected immigrant women permits intervention to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission. Routine HIV testing as a component of the medical examination of immigrants has national and international health policy and programmatic implications.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Africa / epidemiology
  • Africa / ethnology
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / epidemiology*
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / ethnology
  • Disease Outbreaks / statistics & numerical data
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Female
  • Global Health
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / ethnology
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Risk Factors