…to the great surprise of doctors, there are thousands of teenagers like Tadisa who have lived with HIV for more than a decade.
When Dr Rashida Ferrand wanted to research these young survivors, she was told none were still alive.
“Five years ago people would shake their heads in disbelief and say: ‘Well, no, nobody survives,'” said the HIV expert from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
“Survival beyond five years is considered absolutely exceptional.”
No-one knows exactly why people like Tadisa survived childhood with untreated HIV.
None of this surprises Rethinkers.
“These children are more likely to be poor and to have lost their parents to Aids,” she said. “They’ve been shifted around amongst guardians and missed education, so the odds are stacked against them.”
But children like Tadisa who survived unexpectedly have often gone untreated, and the complications of untreated HIV – such as damage to the lungs and heart – are debilitating.
Since when did heart disease become AIDS-defining? (answer: since ARVs!)
[Source: BBC News]