can always be applied to children. However, the increased prevalence of HIV infection in childhood has made it essential to define objective strategies and therapies aimed at improving the quality of care for children.
The progression of AIDS in infected children who are not being treated is much greater when compared to what happens among adults: already in the first year of life, they can present opportunistic diseases such as pneumonia, candidiasis, cytomegalovirus, and tuberculosis.
In addition, children are impaired in their growth and development. Loss of body mass, for example, is one of the most severe manifestations of HIV disease.
In children, growth and development retardation is a recognized symptom since the beginning of the epidemic. Babies born to HIV-infected mothers appear to gain less weight at three months of age and at six months appear to be smaller than babies exposed but not infected with HIV.
In older children body mass loss and short stature are common clinical findings. Babies, in particular, have a weak immune system that is less effective at fighting HIV. Given this evidence, today, among the resources used to treat children living with HIV / AIDS, nutrition plays a key role, as it has been shown to improve the quality of life and possibly slow the progression of the disease.
Thus, a well-fed child is less vulnerable to disease, as both HIV and poor diet can weaken the immune system, affecting the body's ability to defend itself against infections.
HIV-positive, untreated and malnourished (HIV-positive) infants and children, in addition to severely impaired growth and development, may also develop AIDS symptoms faster than those on treatment and in good health. nutritional status.
Normal growth and development are factors almost entirely dependent on proper nutrition. Good nutrition aims to provide the child with:
Balance between age, weight and height;
Harmonious physical and psychic development;
Perfect functioning of the organism;
Strengthening the immune system, making the child more resistant to infections.
In more than 90% of cases the child becomes infected with the AIDS virus through the mother, ie during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.
Therefore, the recommendation issued by the Ministry of Health (ordinance of the National Health Care Secretariat n0 97 of 28 / 8 / 95) is that HIV-positive mothers should not breastfeed or donate milk. The baby can only drink milk from the HIV-positive mother if it is properly pasteurized in the milk bank.
This care will strengthen your baby without risking infection with the AIDS virus.
The ideal would be to make use of modified milks (specific baby milk powder) which, although they are whole, are similar in composition to breast milk, as they have vitamins, minerals and iron.
When this is not possible, ordinary whole milk (type B milk) or regular milk powder may be used. Milk volume and dilution depend on the child's months of life and nutritional status. In this phase the monthly monitoring of the pediatrician and nutritionist is essential.
Newborns are more likely to get infections. Thus, care in this period should be redoubled, especially in relation to hygiene.
Instructions for preparing bottles:
- Wash your hands thoroughly before preparing the milk.
- Wash the lid of the milk powder before opening the can
- Wash the bottles, nipple, ring and measuring spoon of milk.
- Boil everything for 5 minutes.
- When possible, use a commercially available cold chemical sterilizer, following the recommended guidance, and keep them covered until ready to use.
- Make the bottles with filtered boiled water for 5 minutes.
- All offered water, including minerals, must be boiled and packaged in thermoses or in well-washed and capped glass or plastic containers.
From 3o or 4o month, solid foods are gradually started through the fruit and vegetable porridge. A baby's appetite should never be compared to another child's. Some babies devour large amounts of food to satiate their appetite, while others indulge in small amounts.
To follow a good diet, healthy and balanced, the child, from 6 months, needs adequate amounts of food daily, which belong to three groups:
CONSTRUCTORS (proteins) - milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, meat (cow, chicken, fish), offal, beans, seeds.
ENERGY (sugar and fat) -rice, corn, wheat, oats, pasta, bread, potatoes, wahoo, oil, butter, molasses, sugar, sugarcane juice, yam, honey.
REGULATORS (vitamins and minerals) - fruits and vegetables. A good food dish should be very colorful, varied, with energetic foods, builders and regulators.
The digestive functions of some children often change when they start some medications. It is normal for dryness or mild diarrhea to occur. You can usually work around these problems with meals. Eating rich in dark green leafy vegetables, squash, papaya, orange, avocado, watermelon, prune, and oats makes your child's gut loosen.
Potatoes, manioc, yams, carrots, bananas, apples, guava, cashews, rice cream and coconut water often improve diarrhea. However, if the bowel change is large, it is best to talk to the pediatrician and nutritionist.
The feeding of children in HIV / AIDS is of paramount importance for the future health of the individual. Properly treated and fed children hardly work later.
Learn about nutrition and the first step to health, quality of life and happiness!
Elaine Siqueira, nutritionist.
More information on this topic 2 Superpositive Nutrition Manual, published and distributed by ABIA
Posted by Healthlink Worldwide (formerly AHRTAG) and ABIA