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PEDIATRIC AIDS

As of December 31, 2002, 9,220 cases of AIDS in children younger than 13 had been reported in the U.S. Pediatric AIDS cases represented less than 2.1 percent of all cases reported through 2002.

In 2002, 158 new AIDS cases in children were reported, with 88 percent of them transmitted before or during birth (perinatal transmission). Since 1993, the number of new cases of pediatric AIDS due to perinatal transmission has declined substantially. A major factor in this decline is the increasing use of treatment before, during and after 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 section.

Racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately represented among pediatric AIDS cases. The number of pediatric AIDS cases ever reported in Black non-Hispanic children is 3.4 times that of White non-Hispanic children and 2.6 times that of Hispanic children.

Graph: AIDS Cases Among Children[d]