The IAP Allahabad branch organized a CME on HIV Awareness, on the 4th of May, Saturday, at Hotel Placid, Allahabad. HIV in children is a vast topic in itself and of paramount importance in daily pediatric clinical practice. Dr C. M. Pandey, a Senior Pediatrician from Allahabad, has done extensive work in HIV in children. A consultant at Children Hospital for 30yrs, he has worked with more than 200 HIV+ families and children for 7 yrs, having visited their homes in and around Allahabad.
The focus of this CME was “Management of HIV exposed infants”. Dr C M Pandey emphasized on the fact that infants are the innocent victims of this deadly disease. In most of the infants, HIV exposure occurs through their mothers. All infants born to HIV +ve mothers will not necessarily be infected with HIV, it is in about one third, the unfortunate ones and in another 5-20% that will get infected through breast feeding, if no intervention is done. So about half of the infants born to HIV +ve mothers, who are on breast feed will be the victims of this disease in absence of any intervention. But if proper intervention is done this can be brought down to almost zero. Unfortunately in our country, only 47% pregnant women are taking ART and only one third HIV+ve mothers and infants pair are getting anti retroviral prophylaxis and treatment.
Lack of early viral diagnostic facilities specially in infants, lack of availability of infant formulation, paucity of awareness, prevailing social stigma and socioeconomic conditions and lack of commitment on either sides are the main hurdles to achieve the best results.
Regarding breast feeding he said that either they should be breast fed with anti retroviral cover to the mother and infant or not to be breast fed at all. Regarding vaccination, inactivated vaccines are safe, live vaccines should be avoided specially OPV and BCG. Live vaccines should be given to asymptomatic children whose CD4 counts are normal on individual basis, weighing risks and benefits.
All exposed infants should be put on PCP prophylaxis, starting from 6 weeks of age. All viral positive infants and undiagnosed exposed symptomatic infants should be put on HAART until confirmatory diagnosis is made. Opportunistic infections should be treated promptly. They are at higher risk of developing serious life threatening infections, so due prophylactic care should be observed. Nutritional requirements should be adequately fulfilled.
The very insightful and elaborate talk was followed by a lively interactive session. The CME also featured a guest lecture by the renowned Pediatrician Dr. S. K. Singh on the Role of Nutrition in pre-puberty age group. The event was attended by Pediatricians of the city in large numbers and got good media coverage.
Looking forward to report more such successful events and initiatives.
Dr. Ishita Banerji
Secretary IAP Allahabad, 2019
9235757534, Central IAP no. : L/1999/C 361