Author(s): Ferris M, Burau K, Schweitzer AM, Mihale S, Murray N, , Ferris M, Burau K, Schweitzer AM, Mihale S, Murray N,
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Abstract The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) estimates that in 2004, there were 39.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide (UNAIDS/WHO Report on the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, 2004). Children less than 15 years of age comprise 2.2 million of these individuals. As more children globally gain access to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), more children are growing to the age when disclosure of their HIV status is inevitable. This information may affect a child's disease trajectory, and in the context of HAART, may have wide-ranging impact in the management of paediatric HIV infection. This study is an investigation of the effect of disclosure of a child's own HIV infection status on death and CD4 decline in a cohort of 325 HIV-infected Romanian children receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). A retrospective database analysis was conducted. Data from a nearly three-year period were examined. Children who were aware of their HIV diagnosis were compared with those who were not aware. We found significant associations between not knowing the HIV diagnosis and death, and not knowing the HIV diagnosis and disease progression defined as either death or CD4 decline. Our results imply that in the context of HAART, knowledge of one's own HIV infection status is associated with delayed HIV disease progression.
This article was published in AIDS Care
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research