Dunkley-Thompson, J.; Figueroa, John P.; Christie, Celia D.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
The “Missed” population of perinatally-acquired HIV-infected adolescents in Jamaica
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
The HIV/AIDS cases in Jamaica were first noted among homosexual men, heterosexual migrant farm workers and persons participating in commercial sex. Since then, the face of HIV/AIDS has evolved to include women and by extension, children. In 1986, the first case of paediatric HIV in Jamaica was reported at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston. Since then there has been a cumulative increase in the number of cases of paediatric HIV/AIDS with over 700 children reported with AIDS of whom approximately 370 have died. It has been recognized that there are children who have been perinatally infected with HIV who are 'slow progressors', Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Category N and who may present for the first time with symptoms in late childhood or early adolescence. Such cases have been reported in Jamaica; for instance, 49 of 72 adolescents (68%) aged 10 to 19 years in the Kingston Paediatric and Perinatal (KPAIDS) Programme at The University of the West Indies were HIV-infected through perinatal transmission. A significant number of these adolescents presented with minor clinical complaints, such as dermatitis (72%) and lymphadenopathy (50%). The purpose of this paper is to highlight the challenges faced in the identification and management of this population of perinatally infected adolescents now living with HIV/ AIDS in Jamaica.....