How to Diagnose HIV in Children is Very Important to Understand

How to Diagnose HIV in Children is Very Important to Understand – How to Diagnose HIV in Children is Very Important to Understand. HIV/AIDS is no stranger to talking about. Not only transmitted through sexual intercourse, needles and blood products, HIV spreads from mother to baby during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. Looking at the way it spreads, we can understand that HIV is not just a disease of adults. The age group of children including babies can also be affected.

The book entitled Nursing HIV/AIDS explains that children with HIV often experience bacterial infections, growth and development disorders, lymphadenopathy, and oral thrush. At the beginning of the infection, the symptoms are not visible and difficult to identify. How to find out the diagnosis by carrying out an examination according to the procedure.

How to diagnose HIV in children? Come on, see the complete information until it’s finished!

1. Diagnosis of HIV in infants aged less than 18 months

Generally, HIV testing in adults is done through enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and western blot tests. However, for children younger than 18 months, the recommended method is a virological polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

The results of the ELISA and western blot tests are prone to erroneous if performed on infants aged less than 18 months. The Nursing Care Book for HIV/AIDS Infected Patients states that their antibodies still contain their mother’s antibodies. As a result, the two tests will not be accurate and false positives can occur, namely the appearance of a positive HIV result even though the baby is not actually infected.

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2. Diagnosis of HIV in infants over 18 months of age

The way to diagnose children aged 18 months and over is by looking at the symptoms and laboratory tests. They can already undergo HIV testing similar to adults using antibody tests, for example ELISA. Classification by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) is also used to diagnose children with HIV.

3. CDC Classification

Children’s HIV diagnosis according to the CDC is divided based on the value of CD4 lymphocytes and symptoms of the disease. CD4 cells are the most important part of the immune system. If infected with HIV, the value will decrease.

The CD4 lymphocyte value category is divided into three categories, namely:

  • Category 1: no suppression
  • Category 2: moderate suppression
  • Category 3: severe suppression

While the clinical categories are divided into five, namely:

  • Category N: mild symptoms
  • Category A: moderate symptoms
  • Category B: moderate symptoms
  • Category C: severe symptoms
  • Category E: the baby is infected from the mother but the status is not clear

4. WHO classification

On the other hand, according to WHO, the diagnosis of HIV in children is classified according to major and minor symptoms. Children can be tested positive if they experience two major symptoms and two minor symptoms, even though they have not done an ELISA test or other tests. WHO major and minor symptoms of HIV in children include:

Major symptoms:

  • Failure to thrive or weight loss
  • Tuberculosis (TB)
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Prolonged fever without cause
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Minor symptoms:

  • Long term cough
  • Generalized lymphadenopathy
  • Oral candidiasis
  • Recurrent infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Generalized skin infection

5. How to treat HIV in children?

How to suppress the growth of the HIV virus by regularly taking antiretroviral therapy (ARV), this also applies to children. Virus symptoms can be overcome through additional treatment that is matched to the child’s condition. However, HIV treatment needs to be adjusted to the age and developmental stage of the child.

Diagnosing HIV in children cannot be equated with adults. The age of the child affects the type of examination chosen and the results.

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