From birth and all the way until adulthood, all humans go through a long path of development. Physical growth occurs along this path, but along with it, the most important and fundamental components of every human being also happens, this is known as cognitive development. For that reason, cognitive and motor development are fundamental parts for the healthy growth of a child. However, there are factors that can inhibit development and cause damage, including infectious and sociocultural factors (Msellati et al., 1993).
One infectious agent that interferes with the healthy development of children is the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV is a neurotropic virus that affects the central nervous system (CNS) from the earliest stages of infection, so many patients infected show symptoms of neurological and psychological nature. One of the darkest sides of HIV is its form of attack, because it is quiet and unstoppable. Not only it decreases the body 's defenses, but it is also especially attracted by the brain. HIV is able to get across the blood brain barrier, which is the basic structure that protects the brain from infection and other harmful bodies. Here, it infects the immune system cells that protect the brain. Once infected, HIV begins to reproduce and infect other cells around. Neurons are usually not infected, but the presence of HIV in the brain can damage or kill nerve cells, either by viral replication or toxic effects that slowly induce neuronal death (White et al., 1995).
In the case of children infected with HIV, the virus grows rapidly causing neurocognitive impairment. Such impairment is clinically manifested by a decrease in the cognitive abilities ...
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...of elective caesarean section had reduced to less than 1% the likelihood of a child being born infected. Another consideration relates to the fact that although the preventive therapy has achieved to minimize the likelihood of HIV infection in newborns, these children would continue to be exposed to maternal illness and other social implications, which are positively correlated to cognitive development (Dobrova-Krol et al., 2010).
In short, infected children have significant delays in the development of gross motor skills compared to their peers. Children with severe medical symptoms have more frequent delays in cognitive and motor development, but many infected children can follow a normal development with appropriate treatment. Delays in motor development are observed more frequently, continuous and consistent than in children older infants (Shanbhag et al., 2005).
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