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Questions & Answers: General Questions

2000

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

Question

What is the average annual cost of treating pediatric AIDS? Is it the same or less expensive than treating HIV/AIDS in adults?

-- Communications Director, Hoffman States, Illinois US


Answer

Thank you for your question. There was some information about the cost of HIV/AIDS care from the International Meeting in Geneva. "Access to Therapy" and "Look into Their Eyes... And Don't Look Away" under HIV Clinical Care from Day 4. In a recent brief news article from the entitled Call for "Increased Research, Education", Helene Gayle from the CDC said it costs more than $150,000 to treat a person with HIV infection. "At the current rate of annual infections in the United States (at least $40,000), the nation now adds $6.2 billion in future health care costs alone for HIV every year."

There is some data from the late eighties that was published, however, it would no longer be applicable to the care provided today.

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Question

How long is the approximate life span of a child diagnosed with HIV as a newborn assuming they don't have any unusual complications?


Answer

The course of HIV and the life expectancy of a child with HIV can vary greatly. Two major groups of children with HIV are identified. One group, rapid progressors, develops symptoms early in life, develops serious complications and AIDS early and often die before the age of five. The other group is called long term survivors, and as the name implies, they develop symptoms much later (some not until their early teens) and they live longer. The oldest patient with perinatal infection of whom we are aware is 20 years old now.

One important fact to think about when discussing survival time is the impact of newer treatments now available for patients with HIV. Experts have already seen a major decrease in the number of children hospitalized and the number of children dying in the past two years since the discovery and availability of newer therapies. These treatments may change the overall survival of all people with HIV, including the rapid progressing group. Experts will learn more will learn more about this when these treatments are for a longer period.



Question

My name is Steve, I am a 37 HIV+. I am married and have a 6 year-old daughter who was conceived while I was already infected. My wife (HIV negative) and myself would like to have another one. Is there any way for an HIV positive to have children with his own sperm? Can you refer me to the proper links and knowledge base? Thank you, Steve


Answer

Dear Steve,

We thank you for your question. On 4/23/98 at a local radio station (WNYC), there was a report about the process of sperm washing. Below is a brief excerpt from the report. You may also order the transcripts or listen to it for detailed information.

Sperm Washing: A Boston researcher, Ann Kiessling, at Harvard University, Boston Infertility Clinic, has applied for permission to use a technique known as sperm washing to assist HIV-positive men and their uninfected female partners (serodiscordant partners) to become pregnant and have children. She has financial support, a laboratory ready to do the treatment and is in contact with couples who might decide to undergo the treatment. This technique has been used for several years in an Italian clinic. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants more evidence that the technique is safe for the woman and child. Minnesota Public Radio's Stephen Smith. (12:00)

If you have RealAudio, you can listen to the broadcast on your computer. Go to www.npr.org/programs/atc/archives/1998/980423.atc.html; it is the most direct link. You can also see a transcript of this broadcast free of charge at www.msnbc.com/news/161044.asp.

Here's the information regarding transcripts and/or tapes for the news report:

Transcripts, $17.90 ($29.95 by fax or $19.95 e-mail for entire show, $14.95 for a segment).
Tape and transcript co-packs, $27.90.
Phone: 1-888-NPR NEWS (1-888-677-6397)
For more information regarding email orders, or postal address, see www.npr.org/inside/transcripts/


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A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!



  
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