Surveillance data on paediatric HIV infection and AIDS in Greece.
AuthorNikolopoulos, Georgios K.
Tsantes, Argirio E.
SourceEuro surveillance : bulletin européen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin
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In Greece, HIV/AIDS surveillance is conducted by the Hellenic Centre for Infectious Diseases Control. The AIDS case reporting system was implemented in 1984, followed by notification of HIV infections in 1998. This article presents surveillance and trend analysis of paediatric HIV infection and AIDS, including cases identified prior to 1998. The number of HIV infected children in Greece is relatively low, raising to a cumulative total of 69 cases by June 2003, 44 (64%) of whom are thought to have been infected through mother-to-child transmission. Thirty three paediatric AIDS cases have been reported since the onset of epidemic, with Pneumonocystis carinii pneumonia being the most frequent opportunistic infection. A significant number of children in Greece were diagnosed after the age of 1 year. This could be attributed to the fact that many HIV-infected women are not identified during pregnancy, despite that fact that voluntary testing is available. It could also be attributed to the fact that data includes HIV infections collected retrospectively after 1998, and that foreign HIV-infected children may arrive in Greece at a later age. Furthermore, new paediatric HIV positive cases that were reported during the first half-year period of 2003 were foreign children born in eastern Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. Efforts should be made to identify women in these populations in time for proper intervention. HIV infection in children remains a huge problem worldwide, and it is very important to focus on reducing the risk of mother-to-child transmission.