By 1991, children infected by the AIDS virus may occupy as many as one in 10 of the nation's pediatric hospital beds, an AIDS researcher says.
The number of infected children could reach 10,000 to 20,000 by then, or one in 15 to one in 10 beds, James Oleske said Tuesday at a science writers conference sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics.Not all of them, however, would have full-blown acquired immune deficiency syndrome, Oleske said.
Oleske said he believes that by 1991 any city with poor people and intravenous drug abuse "can unfortunately expect to see pediatric AIDS developing."
The pediatric researcher at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School in Newark, N.J., said his predictions were based on experience caring for infected children in Newark and on federal statistics.
The federal Centers for Disease Control has counted 1,065 cases of AIDS so far in children who were diagnosed while younger than 13.
CDC has no projections on how many children may become infected by 1991, but the Atlanta-based agency does expect a cumulative total of more than 3,000 pediatric AIDS cases by that time, a CDC spokeswoman said.