Objective: To define the burden of illness and the demographic characteristics of perinatally HIV exposed children in Canada.
Methods: Two national surveys of children born to HIV-infected mothers were conducted. The first survey captured information on all known cases up to March 1991, and the second, additional cases between April 1991 and May 1992.
Results: 220 children born to 204 HIV-infected mothers were identified. Quebec cases increased by 20% compared with 33% in Ontario (p < .003) and 50% in the rest of the country (p < .001). Quebec has a higher proportion of black mothers than the rest of Canada (p < .001). Sexual contact continues to be the major risk factor for maternal HIV infection.
Conclusions: This survey confirms a substantial case load and provides an initial demographic profile of diagnosed HIV exposed infants in Canada.