- Children's immune systems are usually different than adults: Their CD4 (immune cells) and viral load (amount of HIV in the blood) counts are much higher. Children’s CD4 and viral load counts usually reach adult levels when they are in puberty.
- Children’s immune systems are still developing: They are at risk for certain infections such as pneumonia, sinusitis, diarrhea or thrush (yeast). Some children also get warts and a skin rash called molluscum contagiosum, which is harder to treat in children.
- Preventing illness in a child living with HIV is very important: One of the best ways to do this is to make sure they are up-to-date on all vaccinations including: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTaP) vaccine; polio (IPV) vaccine; H. flu type B (HiB) vaccine for meningitis; pneumococcal vaccine; and hepatitis A and B vaccines.
For more information about HIV and children, visit Paediatric Services
HIV Treatment for Children
HIV Disclosure & Children
Children and HIV From Managing your health: a guide for people living with HIV 2009, CATIE Client resources.