Antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access. Recommendations for a public health approach.
These stand-alone treatment guidelines serve as a framework for selecting the most potent and feasible first-line and second-line ARV regimens as components of expanded national responses for the care of HIV-infected infants and children. Recommendations are provided on: diagnosing HIV infection in infants and children; when to start ART, including situations where severe HIV disease in children less than 18 months of age has been presumptively diagnosed; clinical and laboratory monitoring of ART; substitution of ARVs for toxicities. The guidelines consider ART in different situations, e.g. where infants and children are coinfected with HIV and TB or have been exposed to ARVs either for the prevention of MTCT (PMTCT) or because of breastfeeding from an HIV-infected mother on ART. They address the importance of nutrition in the HIV-infected child and of severe malnutrition in relation to the provision of ART. Adherence to therapy and viral resistance to ARVs are both discussed with reference to infants and children. A section on ART in adolescents briefly outlines key issues related to treatment in this age group. (excerpt)