New hope for 25% of the world’s HIV-exposed but uninfected ...

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New hope for 25% of the world’s HIV-exposed but uninfected children

Fresh study hopes to determine why these SA youngsters have poorer health outcomes than their unexposed peers

Journalist

For years it’s been a mystery to clinicians why children born to HIV-positive mothers escape infection, but still have poorer health outcomes than babies born to HIV-negative women. But a new study by local and US researchers in the Western Cape may soon provide answers.

Cherish (children HIV exposed uninfected research to inform survival and health) will for the next four years follow HIV-positive and HIV-negative mothers and their children, until at least their third birthdays. This in the hope of finding answers to why HIV-exposed children tend to have poor survival, frequent hospitalisations and slower developmental milestones and growth compared with those born to HIV-negative women.

Despite one in four children in SA being HIV-exposed, the country has no systems to evaluate the outcomes of babies subjected to HIV and antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy...

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