Introduction

It was estimated that at the end of 2002 there were 42 million people worldwide with HIV-1 infection, over 29 million of whom were living in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite some encouraging signs that the rate of new infections is stabilizing, there are still about 3 million children under 15 years of age living with HIV. As a case in point, approximately 68 000 children with HIV infection were born in South Africa in 2002, and AIDS-related complications now account for 60-80% of pedi-atric admissions there and 70% of hospital deaths. Gastrointestinal disease, mainly diarrhea, accounts for about a third of these admissions.

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