Document Type

Article

Abstract

More than 500 cases of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AlDS) in children (ages I3 and under) had been reported to the Centers for Disease Control as of August , 1987. Of these children, 78% were infected perinatally by their mothers. The ratio of AIDS cases among women to AIDS cases among ; i children has remained stable at approximately 5:1 for several years. So, for the foreseeable future, we can expect that for every five reports of women with AIDS, one child with AIDS will be reported. As is the CMe with other sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS causes a disproportionately greater burden for infected women than for infected men. The major reason: women are child bearers and can transmit infections to their offspring during either pregnancy or delivery. Tragically, most women who infect their children do so unknowingly. The infections are usually at an asymptomatic stage in the mother or arc unrecognized and come to light only because the child's infection is discovered.

Disciplines

Congenital, Hereditary, and Neonatal Diseases and Abnormalities | Diseases | Female Urogenital Diseases and Pregnancy Complications | Immune System Diseases | Maternal and Child Health | Virus Diseases | Women's Health

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Copyright American Medical Women’s Association used with permission