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An epidemiological study of adolescents who had acquired HIV around the time of birth highlights how high-income countries benefit from the ability to begin treating all infected children in the first years of life.
It is estimated that more than 2.1 million children under 15 years of age are living with HIV infection worldwide (see Statistical Tables at go.nature.com/2qqvksh). Almost all of these children received the retrovirus from their mother, either around the time of birth (the perinatal period) or through breastfeeding. Writing in PLoS Medicine, the CIPHER (Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research) Global Cohort Collaboration1 has shed light on the population of children who survive perinatal HIV infection, living into adolescence and beyond. The collaboration’s far-reaching epidemiological study emphasizes the importance of early antiretroviral therapy (ART) for improving survival rates and clinical outcomes.