Pediatric HIV in Texas
As a consequence of medicines given to HIV-infected pregnant women to reduce the risk of maternal-infant HIV-transmission, Texas, like most of America, has experienced a decrease in the number of infants born with HIV. However, new cases of HIV in children are still identified regularly, and these cases occur in every part of the state. Some HIV-infected mothers transmit the virus to their infants, despite the availability of medications to reduce the chances of perinatal transmission. Some children who were infected with HIV at birth but whose HIV was not immediately detected, are newly diagnosed during school years as they begin to develop chronic health problems and opportunistic infections which are characteristic of AIDS. Finally, some older children and teenagers are infected with HIV through adult behaviors such as unprotected sex or drug use.
Information from the Texas Department of Health gives a picture of the distribution of pediatric HIV cases in Texas. By July, 1998, the Texas Department of Health had records of 1,869 HIV-exposed children in Texas. The vast majority of these children (n=1,713, 92%) had been exposed to HIV from their mothers during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. The years of birth for these children span from January, 1979 through July, 1998. Data for 1,201 (70%) of the exposed children permitted identification of their HIV infection status; 344 (29%) of these children are HIV-infected. Most of these children (79.3%) were born in Texas in the cities of Houston (58.7%), Dallas (16.2%), and San Antonio (4.4%). The remaining 20% are listed as "other" - this category is comprised of the individual cases that are occasionally identified in low prevalence areas.
To learn more about HIV in Texas, visit the Texas Department of Health's Bureau of HIV and STD Prevention. This site contains information on AIDS statistics and trends, and fact sheets on statewide HIV reporting requirements.