Opinion Paper - Special Collection: UNAIDS Targets for 2030

Looking back at paediatric HIV treatment in South Africa. My, how we have grown!

Leon J. Levin, Juliet L. Horak, James Nuttall
Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine | Vol 22, No 1 | a1283 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhivmed.v22i1.1283 | © 2021 Leon J. Levin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 June 2021 | Published: 16 September 2021

About the author(s)

Leon J. Levin, Department of Paediatrics, Right to Care, Johannesburg, South Africa
Juliet L. Horak, Department of Paediatrics, Dora Nginza Hospital, Gqeberha, South Africa
James Nuttall, Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Antiretroviral treatment has undergone major changes in the last 20 years, from monotherapy, to dual therapy and finally to triple therapy. Lately, more focus has been placed on better, more well-tolerated combinations and formulations. As in most other disciplines in medicine, the development of paediatric HIV dosages and formulations always tends to lag behind adult research. Twenty years ago, it could take several years before data were available to enable the use of life-saving antiretrovirals in children. Paediatricians, being ever resourceful, were not prepared to let their paediatric patients suffer despite the lack of data or formulations and so made a plan. This article describes some of the trials and tribulations that we went through trying to make sure that our paediatric HIV patients not only survived but thrived. Clinicians treating paediatric patients today have it so much easier because of what our colleagues and their patients went through in those early days.

Keywords

HIV; paediatric HIV; paediatric antiretroviral treatment; South Africa; history

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