African Children With HIV/AIDS Face Disadvantages, Receive Little Attention, Advances in Treatment
Although "enormous strides" have been made in treating HIV-positive adults in sub-Saharan Africa -- including the provision of low-cost medications and more effective treatment -- "[n]othing like that has happened for children," the Toronto Globe and Mail reports. Worldwide, more than 1,400 children die of AIDS-related causes every day, and approximately 2.8 million of the more than three million HIV-positive children in the world live in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Globe and Mail. HIV-positive children often do not benefit from treatment advances made for adults because the disease works differently in children and most HIV/AIDS medications are not made into pediatric formulas, do not come in syrup form and have few dosing guidelines, according to the Globe and Mail. "Kids are not on the radar screen; they're not even thought of," Richard Marlink, scientific director for treatment and care at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, said. EGPAF currently provides treatment to 250 HIV-positive children in Africa and hopes to treat 500 by the end of this month, according to the Globe and Mail (Nolen, Globe and Mail, 9/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.