WHO recommends treating all HIV-infected infants aged less than 12 months

Polly Clayden, HIV i-Base

Following a meeting In April 2008 of the WHO Technical Reference Group for Paediatric HIV/Antiretroviral Therapy and Care to consider the implications of recent research findings, the WHO have revised their guidelines for treatment and care of infants infected with HIV.

Of particular importance is the new recommendation: “All infants under 12 months of age with confirmed HIV infection should be started on antiretroviral therapy, irrespective of clinical or immunological stage.” This was made in light of findings from the CHER study, in which dramatic reduction in mortality (75%) was observed in infants treated immediately irrespective of immunological or clinical criteria compared to infants whose treatment was deferred until criteria as outlined in the previous treatment guidelines were met.

Other research and observational data also suggest that early antiretroviral therapy in infancy dramatically reduces the risk of death and disease progression.

The full report from the meeting and new recommendations can be accessed at:

Links to other websites are current at date of posting but not maintained.