In view of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection identified, the number of children infected with HIV has risen dramatically in developing countries. HIV can be mediated during sexual intercourse, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and other forms of exposure to bodily fluids that carry the virus. HIV infections in children result from mother-to-child-transmission, where the virus is progressed from a mother living with HIV to her baby during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. While the precise mechanisms for viral transmission during pregnancy is not entirely understood, the risk of this form of transmission increases in direct relation to the severity of the mother’s HIV infection.
Because children’s immune systems are not fully matured, children living with HIV get sick more severely than adults. They may experience the same common pediatric infections as HIV-negative children, but cannot fight these infections as effectively.