Long-Term Prognosis: Lessons from America

In the U.S., the number of babies infected with HIV at birth has dropped dramatically--from its peak of more than 1,600 in 1991 to fewer than 50 in 2004--thanks to AZT regimens for HIV-positive mothers. But that leaves nearly 10,000 U.S. children who have been diagnosed with AIDS, and their long-term prognosis says a lot about what lies ahead for millions of children in the developing world.

Alisha Saleem, 20, was born too early to benefit from the newest antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. In fact, there weren't any HIV treatments for adults, much less children, in 1986. Saleem, who contracted the...

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