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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

SAMAYOA, Blanca et al. Experience of a pediatric HIV clinic in Guatemala City. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.1, pp. 51-55. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892009000100008.

OBJECTIVES: To describe the clinical experience of a Guatemalan pediatric HIV clinic and referral center, and fill the gap in literature available on pediatric HIV in Guatemala, a country facing a growing HIV epidemic. METHODS: Analyses were performed on data available from the clinical databases maintained by the Clínica Familiar Luis ángel García within the Hospital General San Juan de Dios in Guatemala City, Guatemala. RESULTS: From January 1997-June 2006, a total of 536 children (individuals under 13 years of age) were registered at the clinic, 54% of them female. At the initial visit, 241 were known to be HIV infected, while 295 were known to have been exposed to HIV, but were of undetermined infection status. Of the 295 with undetermined status, serostatus was determined in 173, and 57 (33%) were HIV positive. The patients came from all 24 departments of Guate mala, but the majority (64%) was from Guatemala City. Most had perinatal exposure; three patients had been sexually exposed to HIV (all male); and the mode of infection could not be determined for six children. In the cohort of children whose infection status was initially undetermined, the provision of antiretroviral (ARV) medication (both pre- and neonatal), in addition to Cesarean section, was associated with an odds ratio of 0.06 for HIV infection (P < 0.001) when compared to children who had no interventions. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) was administered to 167 HIV-infected children. There were 44 known deaths in this cohort; no deaths occurred among the children who were not infected. CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric HIV/AIDS is present in all parts of Guatemala. Programs to prevent mother to child transmission and to provide appropriate treatment to families living with HIV/AIDS must be a public health priority.

Keywords : HIV seroprevalence; child health; anti-HIV agents; Guatemala.

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