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Pediatric HIV and AIDS

Narrative

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a disease that destroys cells that are critical to a healthy immune system. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is diagnosed when HIV has weakened the immune system enough that the body has difficulty fighting disease and infections. In 2009, an estimated 166 children younger than 13 years of age were diagnosed with HIV, and 13 were reported to have AIDS. Racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by HIV. In 2009, non-Hispanic Black children accounted for over three-quarters of diagnosed cases, but represented only 15 percent of the total U.S. population in this age group.

The number of pediatric AIDS cases has declined substantially since 1992, when an estimated 911 cases were reported. A major factor in this decline is the increasing use of antiretroviral therapy before, during, and after pregnancy to reduce perinatal transmission of HIV and the promotion of universal prenatal HIV testing. Perinatal transmission accounts for 91 percent of all AIDS cases among children in the United States. Antiretroviral therapy during pregnancy can reduce the transmission rate to 2 percent or less, while without treatment the transmission rate is 25 percent.1

At the end of 2008, 660,062 adults and adolescents and 3,022 children under age 13 years were living with HIV while 479,161 adults and adolescents, and 707 children under age 13 years were living with AIDS. Of the 1,108,611 AIDS cases cumulatively diagnosed through 2009, 9,448 were among children under age 13 years.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One Test Two Lives. Accessed April 2011.

Graphs

This image is described in the Data section.

Child HIV Infection by race graph

This image is described in the Data section.

Child AIDS Diagnoses by year graph

Data

Estimated Numbers of Diagnoses of HIV Infection* Reported in Children Under Age 13, by Race/Ethnicity, 2009

Number of diagnoses:

  • Total*: 166
  • Non-Hispanic White: 11
  • Non-Hispanic Black: 127
  • Hispanic: 23
  • Non-Hispanic Asian:  4
  • Non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander: 0
  • Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native: 0
  • Non-Hispanic Multiple Races: 3

* Includes persons with a diagnosis of HIV infection regardless of stage of disease at diagnoses.
** The total was estimated independently of values for each subpopulation, therefore the sum of all races/ethnicities does not equal the overall total.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Surveillance Report, 2009; vol. 21. February 2011. Accessed April 2011.  

Estimated Numbers of AIDS Diagnoses in Children Under Age 13,by Year of Diagnosis, 1992–2009

Number of Diagnoses:

  • 1992: 911
  • 1993: 897
  • 1994: 821
  • 1995: 684
  • 1996: 522
  • 1997: 347
  • 1998: 257
  • 1999: 203
  • 2000: 139
  • 2001: 133
  • 2002: 112
  • 2003: 75
  • 2004: 59
  • 2005: 57
  • 2006: 39
  • 2007: 31
  • 2008: 40
  • 2009: 13

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Surveillance Report, 2009; vol. 21. February 2011. Accessed April 2011.  


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