As of December 31, 2000, 8,908 cases of AIDS in children
younger than 13 had been reported in the U.S.; this
total includes 196 newly reported cases in 2000. Pediatric
AIDS cases represented less than 1.2 percent of all
cases reported to date.
The majority of pediatric AIDS cases result from
transmission before or during birth (perinatal transmission).
However, the number of new cases of pediatric AIDS
due to perinatal transmission has declined by 76 percent
since 1993. A major factor in this decline is the
increasing use of zidovudine (ZDV) treatment during
pregnancy to reduce perinatal HIV transmission. In
1994, the U.S. Public Health Service recommended this
treatment for all HIV-positive pregnant women, and
in 1995, routine HIV counseling and voluntary testing
for all pregnant women was recommended. It is expected
that the perinatal transmission rate will continue
to decline with increased use of aggressive treatments
and obstetric procedures, such as elective cesarean
The number of pediatric AIDS cases ever reported
in black, non-Hispanic children is more than three
times that of white, non-Hispanic children and over
two and one-half times that of Hispanic children.