By the School of Public Health

Testing the children of HIV-infected adults already receiving care may efficiently diagnose HIV-infected children before they exhibit symptoms, according to researchers from the University of Washington School of Public Health.

By referring HIV-infected parents to have their children tested, researchers revealed many untested older children and found that prevalence of HIV was high. This new active referral model significantly increased the rate of pediatric testing with limited additional costs to health systems.

“HIV testing for children before they become symptomatic with HIV is critical for survival,” says Anjuli Wagner, postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Global Health and graduate of the Department of Epidemiology. “This sort of upstream strategy can identify HIV-infected children and start them on life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART) early, which has large impacts on survival, averted illnesses and hospitalizations, and improved growth and development.”

Wagner is lead author on an article, published Dec. 15 in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, that describes work conducted during the CATCH study, or HIV-1 Counseling and Testing for Children at Home.


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