Eight children with symptoms of HIV infection were treated for 12-26 months (median 14 months) with infusions of intravenous immunoglobulin (200 mg/kg) every three weeks. Significant improvement was noted in all children in terms of weight gain, number of infectious episodes, and days spent in hospital. This resulted in a 49% saving in cost on treatment compared with costs accrued previously during inpatient admissions. Immunoglobulin concentrations, which were raised at the start of treatment were not altered, and T4 counts continued to decline slowly. HIV core antigen was detected in four children before treatment, but all became core antigen negative after treatment was commenced, this effect being sustained in three. Intravenous immunoglobulin therefore has major clinical benefit, and by reducing viral activity may delay disease progression.
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