Demographics in HIV-infected children in Denmark: Results from the Danish Paediatric HIV Cohort Study

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We present the demographic data on HIV-infected children from the Danish Paediatric HIV Cohort Study, an observational database on HIV in Denmark. Up to 1 July 2003 a total of 89 children had been diagnosed with HIV infection before the age of 16 y, of which 12 (13.5%) had died, 2 (2.2%) had emigrated from Denmark, and 13 had reached the age of 16 y. Estimates of prevalence and incidence of HIV infection in the area were 5.77/100,000 and 0.39/100,000 respectively, which are lower than in the adult population. After 1993 the number of newly diagnosed HIV infected children remained quite constant with an average of 4.2 diagnoses per y. Of the enrolled patients only 15.7% had both their parents of Danish origin, while 58.5% had at least 1 of the parents from an African country. Of the entire cohort, 20% were Caucasians, 51% were males and 76% were infected perinatally. There has been a shift in the HIV epidemic in children over recent y, with a higher proportion of newly diagnosed HIV patients having contracted the infection perinatally, a higher proportion being of non-Caucasian race, and the newly diagnosed individuals being younger. Even since 1995, a major part of the newly diagnosed children was born in Denmark by mothers from high-endemic areas and we therefore suggest that HIV-testing should actively be offered to all pregnant women coming from these high-risk areas.

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