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Common Skin Conditions in Children with HIV/AIDS

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The most recent Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) data inform us that approximately 2.3 million children were infected with HIV at the end of 2009. The greatest burden of this infection is thrust squarely on the most impoverished healthcare systems in the world. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to at least 68% of the global total of HIV infection of 22.5 million. Although a scale up of antiretrovirals has been one of the UNAIDS priorities, and access to services to prevent mother-to-child transmission has increased, an estimated 370 000 children were newly infected in 2009. Hence, infected mothers continue giving birth to HIV-infected children who require appropriate healthcare to diagnose and treat their underlying immunodeficiency and related disorders. Skin lesions are common in these children as they present with infections common in the general population, albeit more severe. Those lesions that are markers of HIV or AIDS are important signs heralding an improving or declining immune system and the success of antiretrovirals. Cutaneous manifestations of HIV/AIDS can be classified broadly as infections and infestations, inflammatory conditions, tumors, and antiretroviral related. This manuscript discusses the more common skin conditions seen in children infected with HIV so as to improve the diagnosis and therapy administered by healthcare professionals especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

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No funding was received to prepare this article. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this article.

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Correspondence to Professor Anisa Mosam.

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Mankahla, A., Mosam, A. Common Skin Conditions in Children with HIV/AIDS. Am J Clin Dermatol 13, 153–166 (2012). https://doi.org/10.2165/11593900-000000000-00000

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  • Herpes Simplex Virus
  • Acyclovir
  • Varicella Zoster Virus
  • Visceral Leishmaniasis
  • Imiquimod