October 1989

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus–Infected InfantA Diagnostic Dilemma

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics University of Washington Seattle, WA 98195

Am J Dis Child. 1989;143(10):1138-1139. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150220026013

Congenital infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has a profound effect on growth and development of the newborn. As is typical for congenitally acquired infections, the symptoms in the young infant are distinct from those observed in older children and adults. Although HIV-infected infants have been studied for half a dozen years,1,2 and detailed descriptions of the natural course have appeared in the literature,3-5 many issues related to maternal-fetal transmission are poorly understood. In this issue of AJDC, Johnson and coworkers6 report a prospective study of 20 infants born in the Baltimore, Md, area to HIV-sero-positive women. The infants were observed for a minimum of 18 months to determine the natural history of congenital HIV infection. The study fails, however, as did previous studies of congenital HIV infection, to address the maternal-fetal factors that affect virus transmission from the mother to the offspring and to take

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