chapter  13
8 Pages

Children with AIDS

T h e enorm ous w orldw ide atten tion and publicity tha t have a ttended the AIDS epidem ic have essentially bypassed the problem presented by infants and children. T h ere are good reasons for this. T he num ber o f cases reported in both children and adolescents in the U nited States as o f January 1 o f 1987 is less than 2% o f the total num ber o f some 28,000 cases. Much o f the political and legislative focus has been on the homosexual and bisexual transm ission o f the disease, which does not include children. T he num ber o f adults and chil­ d ren infected by blood and blood products has been relatively small and will not grow, because o f the success in screening and protecting blood and blood products from contam ination by the hum an im m unodeficiency virus (HIV). T he principal pool o f infected children has come from infants born to in­ fected women, most o f them intravenous d rug users; these cases have been concentrated in a very few com m unities-New York, Newark, Miami, and Los A ngles.12 T he country at large so far has had no need to face this diffi­ cult problem .