According to a study, beginning antiretroviral therapy soon after birth boosts a baby’s life expectancy, lowers the risk of serious illness, and lowers the likelihood that HIV will lead to AIDS.
Combining at least three distinct antiretroviral medications constitutes antiretroviral treatment.
Healthcare professionals take drug-resistance into account when deciding which medications to utilize because it may limit future treatment options. On occasion, medication may need to be changed.
Adherence to the prescribed course of treatment is a crucial component of successful antiretroviral therapy. The WHO states that persistent suppression of the virus requires compliance of more than 95%.
Adherence refers to taking the drug as directed. For kids, this could be challenging, especially if they struggle with pill swallowing or want to avoid unpleasant side effects. Certain drugs can be taken by young children more easily because they come in liquid or syrup form.
Along with healthcare professionals, parents, and caregivers must collaborate closely. In some situations, everyone concerned might benefit from family therapy.
Teens who have HIV may also require:
Groups for therapy and support in mental health
Support for a seamless transition into adult healthcare, including reproductive health counseling, contraception, advice on healthy sexual behavior, and STI and substance use screening during pregnancy tests.
Pediatric HIV research is still being done. Treatment recommendations might be regularly changed.
Make sure to inform your child’s doctor of any new or developing symptoms, as well as any negative drug side effects. Never be afraid to inquire about your child’s health and medical care.
Children and teenagers with HIV should get immunizations against other diseases since HIV can make it tougher to fight infections.
When inactivated vaccines are available, patients with HIV should receive them, since live immunizations can cause an adverse reaction.
You can get guidance from your healthcare professional regarding the timing and other details of vaccinations. They may consist of:
varicella (chickenpox, shingles)
human papillomavirus, type B hepatitis (HPV)
Rubella, measles, mumps, and influenza (MMR)
pneumonia caused by meningococcal bacteria
Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (Tdap)
Other vaccinations, such as those that guard against cholera or yellow fever, may also be advised before traveling abroad. Consult your child’s physician well in advance of any international travel.
A solid support network and adherence to antiretroviral medication can help kids and teenagers enjoy healthy, full lives despite the challenges that come with growing up with HIV.