ad info

CNNin
 MAIN PAGE
 WORLD
 ASIANOW
 U.S.
 LOCAL
 POLITICS
 WEATHER
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 TECHNOLOGY
 NATURE
 ENTERTAINMENT
 BOOKS
 TRAVEL
 FOOD
 HEALTH
 AIDS
 Alternative
 Cancer
 Diet & Fitness
 Heart
 Men
 Seniors
 Women
 STYLE
 IN-DEPTH

 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 CNN programs
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

  CNN WEB SITES:
CNN Websites
 TIME INC. SITES:
 MORE SERVICES:
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines
 pointcast
 pagenet

 DISCUSSION:
 message boards
 chat
 feedback

 SITE GUIDES:
 help
 contents
 search

 FASTER ACCESS:
 europe
 japan

 WEB SERVICES:
Health

Drug combinations changing the face of pediatric AIDS

graphic


RELATED VIDEO
CNN's Elizabeth Cohen reports on pediatric AIDS
Windows Media 28K 80K
 

February 1, 1999
Web posted at: 9:41 a.m. EST (1441 GMT)

CHICAGO (CNN) -- New drug "cocktails" have been a blessing for children with HIV, changing the face of pediatric AIDS from the specter of sickly children to one of hope and encouragement.

Because of the cocktails -- combinations of drugs used to treat the disease -- only one child died of AIDS last year at one New Jersey hospital. In 1996, before the drugs, 34 HIV-infected children at that same hospital died.

"It's clearly attributable to the aggressive anti-retroviral therapy," said the New Jersey Medical School's Dr. James Oleske, who oversees pediatric AIDS cases there.

Oleske co-chaired the Working Group on Antiretroviral Therapy and Medical Management of HIV Infected Children, convened in July 1997 by the National Pediatric and Family HIV Resource Center. The working group came up with guidelines for using the combination drug therapies and presented them to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga, of the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center, points to a set of three-year-old twins who now use the same three-drug cocktail adults take to combat the disease.

"They're doing very well," she says. "They're growing, gaining, thriving, doing everything that three-and-a-half-year-olds should be doing."

drugs
The twins are on a three-drug combination treatment  

The twins' father, who requested anonymity, says the new drug regimen has made the family's life more normal.

"We don't think of it day to day that our children have an illness," he said. "We just think we have to keep providing them medication."

That is one of the treatment's downsides: When parents don't give out the dosages according to a grueling, exact schedule, the deadly virus can start growing in the body again. And that's not all that could go wrong -- some children develop resistance to the drugs, which can make children feel terrible.

The drug therapy has worked wonders for many children, but it is not a cure for the disease. Doctors are still hoping for a vaccine made especially for children who are already infected.

Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen contributed to this report.

Related stories:
Latest Headlines

Today on CNN

Related sites:

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window

External sites are not
endorsed by CNN Interactive.

SEARCH CNN.com
Enter keyword(s)   go    help

  
 

Back to the top
© 2000 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.