A wealth of medical literature has appeared on all aspects of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) since 1980. The output of information on AIDS during the past two years is only exceeded in my files by a collection of many years of reprints on the biology of streptococci and associated infections.
I cannot possibly focus on all of the accumulated factual information on the biologic, epidemiologie, and clinical aspects of HIV and AIDS, but I wish to reflect on whether our profession is prepared to meet the multiple problems of children with AIDS. It has been estimated that as of Sept 30, 1987, 584 children 13 years of age or younger had met the case definition criteria of the Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, for pediatrie AIDS (JAMA 1987;258:2736-2737). Furthermore, by 1991, an estimated 3000 children in the United States will have AIDS. This may be a severe underestimate. A disproportionate number of these children will be poor, black or Hispanic, and homeless.