The early natural history of vertically transmitted HIV-1 infection in African children from Durban, South Africa

Ann Trop Paediatr. 1998 Sep;18(3):187-96. doi: 10.1080/02724936.1998.11747946.

Abstract

Forty-eight children with vertically transmitted HIV-1 infection and 93 uninfected infants were followed up at regular intervals from birth for a mean of 26 months. They were examined physically, growth and development were assessed and illnesses recorded. Seventy per cent of infected infants were symptomatic by 6 months. Relative risks in the infected infants were highest for lymphadenopathy (4.56; CI 2.7-7.7), failure to thrive (4.48; 2.57-7.81), and neurological abnormalities (3.32; 1.9-5.58). The most frequent findings were diarrhoea (78%), pneumonia (76%) and lymphadenopathy (70%). Thrush and pneumonia occurred early but declined over time, whereas diarrhoea and neurological abnormalities occurred later and increased in frequency. A diagnosis of AIDS was made in 44% of infected infants by 12 months of age. Mortality in infected infants was 35.4%, and 76% of deaths occurred within the 1st year. About two-thirds of HIV-infected infants survived into early childhood. In South African children with vertically acquired HIV-1 infection the onset of disease is early and deterioration to AIDS and death are rapid. Infected infants can be easily recognized clinically, the majority by 6 months of age.

PIP: 48 children with vertically acquired HIV-1 infection and 93 uninfected infants were followed up at regular intervals from birth for a mean period of 26 months. They were examined physically, had their growth and development assessed, and illnesses recorded. 70% of HIV-infected infants were symptomatic by age 6 months. Relative risks of specific signs of disease in the infected infants were highest for lymphadenopathy, failure to thrive, and neurological abnormalities. The most frequent findings were diarrhea (78%), pneumonia (76%), and lymphadenopathy (70%). Thrush and pneumonia occurred early, but declined over time, while diarrhea and neurological abnormalities occurred later and increased in frequency. AIDS was diagnosed in 44% of infected infants by age 12 months. HIV mortality in infected infants was 35.4%, with 76% of deaths occurring during the first year of life. About two-thirds of HIV-infected infants survived into early childhood.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / mortality
  • Child Welfare
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Progression
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • HIV-1*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical*
  • Risk Factors
  • South Africa / epidemiology