As of December 31, 2002, 9,220 cases of AIDS in children younger
than 13 had been reported in the U.S. Pediatric AIDS cases represented
less than 2.1 percent of all cases reported through 2002.
In 2002, 158 new AIDS cases in children were reported, with 88
percent of them transmitted before or during birth (perinatal transmission).
Since 1993, the number of new cases of pediatric AIDS due to perinatal
transmission has declined substantially. A major factor in this
decline is the increasing use of treatment before, during and after
pregnancy to reduce perinatal HIV transmission. In 1994, the U.S.
Public Health Service recommended this treatment for all HIV-positive
pregnant women, and in 1995, routine HIV counseling and voluntary
testing for all pregnant women was recommended. It is expected that
the perinatal transmission rate will continue to decline with increased
use of aggressive treatments and obstetric procedures, such as elective
Racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately represented
among pediatric AIDS cases. The number of pediatric AIDS cases ever
reported in Black non-Hispanic children is 3.4 times that of White
non-Hispanic children and 2.6 times that of Hispanic children.