MOH News
AIDS usually affects children through vertical transmission,
27 February 2007
Dr. Sami Hasan Al-Hajar from King Faisal Specialized Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh denoted in a paper titled "AIDS in Children – Features and Differences from Adults", that AIDS usually affect children through vertical transmission from the mother. It is estimated that about 1600 AIDS children are born in Africa daily.
He said use of Zedvodin for affected pregnant women during pregnancy and delivery, in addition to using it for born babies during the first six weeks, together with replacement of natural milk with artificial milk, have contributed greatly in lowering the cases of AIDS transfer from mother to child by 2%. Cesarean delivery, in addition to the above, has lowered the cases by 1%. The number of affected women according to the paper represents about 50% of all AIDS cases in the world.
"The number of AIDS cases in the Middle East and North Africa is showing increase", he said. "About 2.7 million cases have been recorded by the end of the year 2005. The number of cases in Saudi Arabia has exceeded 2000, whereas the cases among children has exceeded 170 cases".
The study conducted at KFSH showed that most children were affected through vertical transmission and that about 90% of affected children were born naturally, cesarean delivery not exceeding about 10%. Moreover, about 93% of the children received natural sucking. The clinic features of AIDS in Saudi Arabian children have been found to be similar to the cases in other countries. Late diagnosis and delays in treatment have been noticed in about 23% of the cases. Intensive treatment by antiviral drugs have lowered the mortality rate from 75% in 1995 to less than 7% in 2005. 

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