Aids stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. We say that this disease is acquired because it is not an infection that is inherited. It is caused by a virus (the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV) which enters the body from outside. Most children who acquire Aids get it from their mothers, or through sexual transmission. Symptoms in children may include failure to thrive and grow as normal, diarrhoea, pneumonia, tuberculosis and other infections.

What to do

The only way to confirm infection with HIV is to get your child’s blood tested. When a child develops full-blown Aids, drugs can be given to boost the immune system. Specific illnesses like pneumonia will be treated with antibiotics. The child will need to be kept as healthy as possible with a balanced diet and activity if possible.

For more detailed info on Common Childhood Conditions, go to Health24.

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