Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) was described for the first time in 1981. Two years later the previously unknown human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was identified as the causative agent. HIV has been included in the genus Lent/viruses of the Retroviridae family. Two types are recognized: HIV-1 and HIV-2. Of these, HIV-1 is the primary etiologic agent of the current pandemic. HIV probably originates from simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) which is endemic in African monkey species. Cross species transition may have occurred trough preparation and eating of monkey meat Even today more than one-filth of the monkey meat sold in the markets of Cameroon is infected with SIV. The available evidence suggests that SIV entered the human population from multiple zoonotic infections_ The last common ancestor of the main group of HIV-1 is dated in the first quarter of the twentieth century. Since the eighties of last century a devastating pandemic has developed. At the end of 2003, 40 million people were infected by HIV/AIDS of which 5 million people had been newly infected in that year alone. Ninety-five percent of the new infections occur in the developing countries and 50% in women with child-baring potential. Since mother to child transmission (MTCT) is the main route for transmission of HIV-1 in children, the high number of HIV infected mothers imposes a global health thread to children. Indeed in 2003, 500,000 children died from HIV/AIDS and another 700,000 were newly infected. Besides imposing a direct health risk to children HIV also causes major social and economic dilemmas. HIV mostly affects young adults, killing one or both parents of the children of AIDS victims. Between 10 and 15 million children have become orphans. Hence by destroying human capital and the mechanisms that generate human capital fonmation HIV/AIDS undermines the basis of economic grow1h. If nothing is done to fight the current epidemic HIV-affected countries face economic collapse. In addition, children and families affected by AIDS often face rejection and social isolation.

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The studies described in this thesis were financially sponsored by the Aidslonds. Netherlands. Merck Sharp & Dohme. The Netherlands. Abbott. The Netherlands and GlaxoSmithKiine, The Netherlands
R. de Groot (Ronald)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Fraaij, P. (2005, January 26). Clinical research in HIV-1 infected children. Retrieved from