oa CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Paediatric antiretroviral therapy for the general practitioner - : main article

Volume 23, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 0256-2170



The natural history of perinatal HIV infection is somewhat different to that of adults. Children have much higher viral loads. <br>Children's clinical staging follows a modified WHO 3 staging system. Their immunological monitoring is according to CD4 percentage rather than absolute count until about 6 years of age. <br>Children often cannot swallow pills, syrups can be unpalatable and some require refrigeration. <br>Many drugs have not undergone safety testing in young children, therefore options for therapy are limited. <br>Due to high viral loads to start with, children are harder to treat and we sometimes tolerate detectable levels of vireamia if clinical and immunological improvement is sustained. <br>Drug metabolism changes quite rapidly in the first years of life, therefore drug dosing requires careful calculations. <br>Drug dosing goes according to body weight and surface area, and therefore necessitates dose adjustments at almost every visit.

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