One-quarter of infants born in South Africa today are born to HIV-positive mothers. Fortunately, most of them are, by nature or medicine, are brought into the world free of the most dreaded infection of this era. This group is known as HIV-exposed, uninfected infants and they represent an enormous plurality of the next generation of Africans. But they are not free of its curse, its stigma, its hurt or pain. Unfortunately, despite nature’s best efforts and excellent preventive medicine, they get sicker more often with more severe disease. Tragically, these children die at twice the rate of their unexposed contemporaries.
And nobody knows why.
Several of the posts in my blog are dedicated to HEU infants. I track new research, and tell their stories. My interest springs out of my own work with HEU infants. I meet them every day in an ongoing study assessing their cognitive development. While I hope that nothing is wrong with their mental growth, the published medical literature suggests otherwise.