HIV is a deadly illness, but it may be effectively managed if it is identified and treated early. How long can HIV-infected children live without special intervention from hospitals?
Humans with HIV experience acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. There is now an unknown cure for the illness, nor is there a vaccination to protect against it. Only antiretroviral medications (ARVs) are currently used to slow HIV replication in the body, safeguard the immune system, and aid in lowering the risk of opportunistic infections, improving patient quality of life and chances of survival.
As a result, many patients who take the medication consistently and in high enough doses can live up to 50 years.
How long do HIV-positive youngsters live?
Children are those who are under 16 years old. Two categories of HIV infection in children exist: Transfer from mother to kid (mother-to-child transmission) and Transmission through hazardous conduct (sexual activity, drug injection, etc.).
The risk of infection is significantly higher for kids who have had HIV from birth. Children with HIV infection have a higher risk of illness and death in infancy because their immune systems have not yet fully matured.
Among the population of youngsters born with HIV
One research in the African area has found that if children do not get antiretroviral medication for HIV, the mortality rate for children with HIV is only 4.9% after one year of life (while the mortality rate for healthy children is approximately 35.2%). Children with HIV have a death rate of 52.5% by the time they are 2 years old, compared to 7.5% for children without HIV.
A kid with HIV is unlikely to survive through age one if antiretroviral therapy is not started as soon as possible, say some HIV experts. However, morbidity and death rates have considerably decreased as a result of early intervention in children, including early diagnosis (due to the PCR test) and early ART for children under 2 years of age. Mothers’ HIV infection has caused many children to survive into adulthood.
The health sector in our nation is anticipated to work toward the objective of reducing HIV transmission from mother to child at the same time as other interventions including HIV screening in pregnant women and treatment to prevent mother-to-child transmission.
Children in the group who had HIV because of risky conduct
A pressing concern for the entire society is how long HIV-infected youngsters will live in a group of kids who engage in dangerous activities.
According to the WHO, the rising trend in HIV infection in this age range is mostly due to factors like conflict, poverty, etc., which make kids more likely to trip and fall. In addition, there are issues with drug abuse and teens’ ignorance about safe sex.
The death rate in this group of kids was the same as it was in the overall population. Even youngsters experience more deaths than adults do (affected by lifestyle, economic circumstances, and slow access to HIV diagnosis, health care, and treatment).
How to raise and care for kids born to HIV-positive moms?
The following factors should be taken into consideration when choosing an infant feeding technique for moms who are HIV-positive since the HIV virus might be passed on to nursing infant.
- Use a full milk replacement instead of breastfeeding the infant to prevent HIV from spreading from the mother to the kid and to promote the child’s growth.
- Pay close attention to utilizing clean water and fully sterile milk production equipment, maintaining strict cleanliness
- The mother can solely nurse the child till they are 6 months old and should wean them as soon as possible when there are insufficient conditions for nursing (preferably after the baby is 3 months old).
- Not giving the infant both breast milk and a different type of milk at the same time is absolutely recommended since doing so can upset the baby’s digestive and immunological systems and increase the risk of HIV transmission from mother to child.
- Pay close attention during breastfeeding: before to during feeding the infant, properly clean the nipple; avoid the mother’s nipples becoming cracked or inflamed when breastfeeding. Before feeding the infant directly, it is vital to thoroughly heal any underlying problems, such as oral or skin infections, in the kid or mother. When the kid finishes nursing, it is important to give the infant substitute meals, such as milk powder, porridge, powder, etc., to ensure that the baby gets the essential nutrients
- To guarantee that the HIV viral load is at a safe level, the mother must be on antiretroviral treatment and must adhere to it well.
Caregiving advice for kids born to HIV-positive mothers.
- Give children ARVs as directed by a doctor within 24 hours of delivery to lower the risk of HIV transmission from mother to child.
- Instruct moms to submit their children to testing to determine their HIV status
- Bring the child to a pediatric facility for advice on feeding and caring for the infant
The length of time HIV-positive children live depends on their age as well as how well the illness is managed. In order to improve their quality of life and extend life, HIV patients should work collaboratively with their doctors throughout the course of therapy.