AIDS is by far the biggest and the main non-acute cause of childhood death in Africa. Even in the era of antiretroviral therapy (ART), palliative care remains a crucial part of HIV/AIDS care because treatment sometimes fails, and, more often, is not available or affordable. Palliative care also has an enormous role to play in the relief of distressing symptoms and immune reconstitution illnesses. HIV/AIDS brings a huge physical, psychological, and social burden to infected children and their families. HIV/AIDS is a multi-system, multi-organ disease, not just a disease of the immune system. Most symptoms caused by HIV/AIDS can be managed successfully, using the same principles as with symptoms due to other pathologies. Providing palliative care to children with HIV/AIDS generates some very difficult ethical dilemmas.
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