The characteristics and survival of 178 children with perinatally acquired human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and encephalopathy are reported from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health Service, US Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta, GA. Ten percent of HIV-infected children and 23% of children with AIDS had HIV encephalopathy that was diagnosed at a median age of 19 months. The estimated risk of HIV encephalopathy by age 1 year was 4%, and by age 4 years it was 14%. HIV encephalopathy correlated with an increased risk of cardiomyopathy, more hospitalizations, and with severe immunodeficiency. Estimated median survival after diagnosis was 22 months. [1]

COMMENT. A recent American Academy of Neurology AIDS Task Force consensus report on nomenclature suggested that the term “HIV associated progressive encephalopathy of childhood” be adopted to replace AIDS encephalopathy and other terms used to describe the CNS abnormalities directly related to HIV-1 infection. (Neurology 1991;41:778-785). [2]