Background: Documentation regarding the renal complications of paediatric HIV infection from developing countries is scarce. In the era prior to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), HIVinfected children in Jamaica who developed HIV-associated nephropathy (HIVAN) progressed to end stage renal disease (ESRD) and death within a few months of diagnosis. With increased public access to antiretroviral therapy since 2002 and subsequent survival, renal complications are increasingly recognized among the surviving cohort of infected children.
Methods: A cohort of 196 HIV-infected children was followed in four multicentre ambulatory clinics from September 1, 2002 to August 31, 2005 as part of the Kingston Paediatric and Perinatal HIV/AIDS Programme, Jamaica. We describe the clinical presentations and natural history of those patients who developed renal complications.
Results: Urinary tract infections were the most common diagnosis, occurring in 16.8% of patients, with a high recurrence rate and the most common organism was Escherichia coli. Four of seven patients who started indinavir developed complications of nephrolithiasis and tubulointerstitial nephropathy. Six patients (3%) fulfilled the criteria for HIVAN, five of whom were male. Median age at diagnosis was five years; all presented with advanced HIV disease, nephrotic syndrome or nephrotic range proteinuria and three with chronic renal failure. Patients received standard medical management and were initiated on angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and HAART. While the mortality ratio was 50%, only one death was associated with HIVAN and the median survival time was 3.1 years.
Conclusions: HIV-infected children present with a variety of renal complications. With improved survival since the introduction of HAART, the incidence of HIVAN is expected to increase among this maturing paediatric cohort. Early detection and treatment will optimize the outcomes for these children.