Chicago Tribune Magazine Examines HIV/AIDS Among Children, Adolescents in U.S.
May 13, 2008
The Chicago Tribune Magazine on Sunday examined HIV/AIDS among children and adolescents in the U.S. According to the Tribune, there are about 6,000 children and young adults living with HIV/AIDS in the country.
According to John Marcinak, medical director of the Adolescent HIV program at the University of Chicago, HIV-positive children "have more complications" than adults living with the virus "because they have been on medicine a much longer time." He added that the virus "can develop resistance to the medication" and that some children "can't use some of the new" antiretrovirals.
Robert Garofalo, director of adolescent HIV services at CMH, said that children living with HIV/AIDS are "a forgotten group" because the "sense of community" for other groups "does not exist" for them. "The youth who are born with HIV have very different issues with their family, parents and mothers," Garofalo said, adding, "But like all adolescents, they are still struggling to establish autonomy from their parents, to understand their emerging sexuality."
Lori Wiener, coordinator of the National Cancer Institute's Pediatric HIV Psychosocial Support Program, added that the "stress is tremendous" for children living with HIV. "The stress of HIV appears to increase beginning with adolescence," Wiener said, adding that HIV-positive adolescents "fear social rejection more than many of them fear dying" of AIDS-related causes. Children and adolescents living with HIV/AIDS "who have done the best psychologically are those who have people in their lives that they share their diagnosis with and can talk to openly" about HIV/AIDS, Wiener said (Breu, Chicago Tribune Magazine, 5/11).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.