HIV infection

Vitamin A supplementation may have some benefit for HIV-infected children and pregnant women in developing countries. Low plasma or serum concentrations of vitamin A or intake of vitamin A have been associated with increased disease progression and mortality and higher mother-to-child transmission of HIV (Kennedy et al., 2000). Periodic high-dose vitamin A supplementation seems to reduce morbidity among children born to HIV-infected mothers (Coutsoudis et al., 1995) and diarrhoeal-disease morbidity in HIV-infected children after discharge from the hospital for ALRI (Fawzi et al., 1999). Vitamin A supplementation did not reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV (Coutsoudis et al., 1999; Fawzi et al., 2000b). However, a trial in Durban, South Africa, showed that vitamin A supplementation reduced preterm birth (Coutsoudis et al., 1999). Vitamin A supplementation does not appear to influence HIV load in the blood (Semba et al., 1998). A study from Cape Town, South Africa, suggests that vitamin A supplementation modulates lymphopoiesis in children with AIDS (Hussey et al., 1996).

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