Ten haemophilia centres in northern Europe have pooled data on 202 haemophilic children who were infected with HIV between 1979 and 1986. All cases were under 16 years of age on 1 July 1985. The age at infection ranged from 1-15 years. Thirty seven cases (18%) had progressed to AIDS by 1 July 1991 and 15 of these have died. Persistent generalised lymphadenopathy has been noted in 102 patients of whom 18 (17%) have developed AIDS. Twenty three of the remaining patients (23%) have not. CD4+ T cell counts have fallen steadily. Of 36 patients who have had shingles since seroconversion, 19 (53%) had counts below 0.2 x 10(9)/l. Thirty five out of 145 patients without shingles (24%) had similar values. The mean IgA concentration in patients with CD4+ T cell counts above 0.5 x 10(9)/l was 2.38 g/l, between 0.2 and 0.5 was 3.07 g/l, and in those with CD4+ T cell counts below 0.2 x 10(9)/l the mean IgA concentration was 4.58 g/l. Treatment patterns have altered between 1989 and 1991, with increased use of zidovudine in patients without AIDS and a marked increase in primary prophylaxis against pneumocystis pneumonia. This has been associated with a decline in the incidence of pneumocystis as an indicator disease in new AIDS cases from 56% in 1989 to 20% in 1991. These observations indicate that persistent generalised lymphadenopathy does not worsen the outlook, but shingles does. Rising IgA concentrations are markers for disease progression. Modern prophylactic regimens are delaying the onset of indicator disease, but CD4 values continue to fall steadily.
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