From the Department of Pediatrics and Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester.
Edited by Ronna Henry Siegel, MD, Contributing Editor.
AS OF December 1997, more than 30 million individuals throughout the
world were infected with human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1).1
Of the estimated 16000 new infections that occur daily, more than 90% occur
in developing countries, and 40% occur in women of childbearing age. Every
minute of the day an infant is born infected with HIV-1. In sub-Saharan Africa,
6% to 30% of pregnant women are HIV-1 seropositive. In the United States,
0.17% of all childbearing women are seropositive, and 6000 to 7000 infants
are born each year to HIV-1–seropositive women.2,3
Particularly high HIV-1 seroprevalence rates have been documented in pregnant
women in inner-city populations of New York City (1.25%), the District of
Columbia (0.9%), Puerto Rico (0.7%), New Jersey (0.56%), and Florida (0.54%).3 Although HIV-1 seroprevalence rates in childbearing
women in the United States have leveled recently, there has been an increase
in the incidence of HIV infection among adolescent girls, primarily through
Luzuriaga K, Sullivan JL. Prevention and Treatment of Pediatric HIV Infection. JAMA. 1998;280(1):17-18. doi:10.1001/jama.280.1.17