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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. Estimates presented in previous editions of Child Health USA have included the estimated numbers and rates of diagnoses of HIV infection based on data from 45 areas (40 states and 5 U.S. dependent areas) that have had confidential name-based HIV infection reporting for a sufficient length of time. We are now able to present results from 51 areas that meet this standard of reporting.

In 2010, an estimated 219 children younger than 13 years of age were diagnosed with HIV, and 23 were diagnosed with AIDS. HIV and AIDS disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minorities. In 2010, there were four times as many diagnoses of HIV infection among Non- Hispanic Black as compared to Non-Hispanic White children, but Non-Hispanic Blacks 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 961 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

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One Test Two Lives. HIV Screening for Prenatal Care. Accessed May 5, 2012.

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 Number of Diagnosis of HIV Infection* Reported in Children Under Age 13, by Race/ Ethnicity, 2010

Number of diagnoses:

  • Total: 219
  • American Indian/ Alaska Native: 0
  • Asian: 2
  • Non-Hispanic Black: 143
  • Hispanic: 35
  • Non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander: 0
  • Non-Hispanic White: 34
  • Non-Hispanic Multiple Races: 5

*Includes persons with a diagnosis of HIV infection regardless of stage of disease at diagnosis.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Surveillance Report, 2010; vol. 22. HIV Surveillance Report, Data Tables. Accessed May 23, 2012.

Estimated Number of AIDS Diagnoses in Children Aged 13 Years and Younger in the U.S.,* by Year of Diagnosis, 1992-2010

Number of Diagnoses:

  • 1992: 961
  • 1993: 934
  • 1994: 850
  • 1995: 709
  • 1996: 540
  • 1997: 355
  • 1998: 260
  • 1999: 208
  • 2000: 137
  • 2001: 131
  • 2002: 119
  • 2003: 75
  • 2004: 60
  • 2005: 57
  • 2006: 41
  • 2007: 36
  • 2008: 40
  • 2009: 13
  • 2010: 23

*United States and 6 dependent areas.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Surveillance Report, 2010; vol. 22. HIV Surveillance Report, Data Tables. [online] February 28, 2012.