Intended for healthcare professionals


Children with HIV: the challenge for general practice

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 24 July 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:207

General practitioners do have an important role

  1. Michael Kidd, Professor and head (
  1. Department of General Practice, University of Sydney, Balmain, 2041 Australia

    General practice p 232

    Managing HIV in general practice can be complex and becomes even more difficult when it is children who are infected with HIV. A study by Boulton et al, reported in this issue, of a small group of families attending a single paediatric HIV service in London, questions the role of the general practitioner in the care of children with HIV infection (p 232).1 The study emphasises the importance of specialist care teams for children with HIV and details concerns expressed by the parents of such children about the appropriate level of local general practitioner involvement. Yet as vertical transmission accounts for most new diagnoses of paediatric HIV, most of these children have infected mothers, and sometimes infected fathers and maybe siblings, infected or uninfected, who have their own health problems and needs.

    Many general practitioners providing care for adults and children with HIV would therefore strongly disagree with any suggestion that families affected by HIV would all be better served by tertiary care teams in major centres. Indeed, this is an impracticable model of care for many of the world's children …

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