Long-term care of children with HIV or AIDS


Cases of HIV and AIDS infection in children are complicated and must be followed up by trained health professionals. These children will need to have their care plans monitored very closely and adjusted regularly. Any infection that could become life threatening should be detected and treated soon.

Medicines are adjusted according to the condition of the child. Health is also monitored with frequent measurements of the level of T cells, because these are the cells that the HIV virus destroys. A good number of T cells is a positive sign that medical care is working on to keep the disease under control.

These children will need to be seen frequently by their medical staff for blood tests, medical examinations and discussions about how they and their families cope socially with any stress resulting from their illness.

A child whose immune system is severely compromised will not receive vaccines against active viruses which include measles-mumps-rubella and chicken pox. All other routine immunizations are carried out as usual and a flu vaccine is also recommended.

If a family seeks medical care in the emergency department of a hospital, parents should make sure to tell the nurse receiving the child about the HIV condition. This will allow medical personnel to carefully look for any signs of opportunistic infection diseases while providing the best possible care.Prevention

HIV prevention is an issue of global importance but, despite extensive research, there is still no vaccine to prevent HIV infection.HIV can only be avoided by refraining from risky behaviors.

The best way to prevent HIV is to use condoms during sexual intercourse and never share injection devices (syringes, blades, tampons). If you suffer from HIV, unprotected sexual intercourse or the sharing of needles, syringes or other injection devices can cause transmission of the infection.

Treatment of HIV with ART greatly reduces the risk of transmitting the infection to others.
It is important to know your HIV status and that of your partner and, if at risk of infection, to undergo the test regularly.

Avoidance of alcohol and drugs is also important in preventing the spread of HIV, not because a person can become infected through consumption, but because these habits often lead to conducting or engaging in risky behaviors (such as having unprotected sex. or exchange needles).

HIV, on the other hand, is not transmissible through:

  • casual contacts, such as hugs or handshakes,
  • sharing the same glass,
  • sneezing,
  • cough,
  • mosquitoes or other insects,
  • towels,
  • toilet seats,
  • knobs.


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