HIV’s versatility and ability to rapidly adapt allow it to infect a wide variety of potential hosts, which contributes to its expansion, escalation, and infection of people all around the world. Children, who are generally more at risk for all types of infection due to their recently developed and inexperienced immune systems, are no exception. The HI...
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...ribute to the higher rates of HIV/AIDS as a whole in developing nations, but in particular, the shockingly high prevalence of pediatric cases of HIV/AIDS, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Once a child contracts the HIV virus, it begins to immediately compromise the already weak, young immune system. Because the immune system of a child is continuing to develop, it does not respond as effectively and quickly as an adult, or mature, immune system would. Regardless of the timing of HIV transmission, whether a child contracts the virus in utero, during the birthing process, as a result of breastfeeding, or later in childhood due to other factors, they will not grow and develop as a normal HIV negative child will. Children with HIV often struggle to grow normally and may have difficulties developmentally as well, such as behavioral abnormalities or learning impairments.
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