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December 24, 1997

Update: Perinatally Acquired HIV/AIDS—United States, 1997

JAMA. 1997;278(24):2135-2136. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550240023010

PERINATAL TRANSMISSION of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) accounts for virtually all new HIV infections in children.1 Through 1993, an estimated 15,000 HIV-infected children were born to HIV-positive women in the United States.2 In 1994, clinical trials demonstrated a two-thirds reduction in the risk for perinatal transmission associated with treatment of HIV-infected pregnant women and their infants with zidovudine (ZDV) therapy.3 The Public Health Service (PHS) issued guidelines for the use of ZDV to reduce perinatal transmission in August 1994 and for universal HIV counseling and voluntary testing of pregnant women in July 1995.3,4 This report describes increases in HIV testing and use of ZDV treatment among HIV-infected mothers and a continued substantial decline in the incidence of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) during 1992-1996 among children who were infected through perinatal HIV transmission.5*

For states that conduct HIV surveillance, characteristics were examined for children born to