KARACHI - Over 1,500 children get infected with HIV every day, mainly through parent-to-child-transmission (PTCT), said experts at a seminar on “HIV/AIDS in children.” The seminar was organised by Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) in collaboration with the Department of Paediatric, Civil Hospital Karachi and the Sindh AIDS Control Programme to commemorate the World AIDS Day 2012.Experts, including physicians treating HIV-AIDS patients and child specialists, said that over 90 per cent children get infected from their mothers.  They were of the opinion that the most effective way to protect children against the HIV was to prevent its transmission to them from their affected parents-to-be and to prevent unplanned pregnancies in the HIV-infected women.The speakers included Dr. Ashraf Memon, a senior physician who deals with HIV-AIDS patients and presently associated with the Sindh AIDS Control Programme,  Prof. Ayesha Mehnaz, Head of Pediatrics Department, Civil Hospital and senior child specialists Dr. Noor un Nisa Masqati, Dr. Nida Noor and Dr. Shagufta Baloch.Dr. Ashraf Memon said that around 3.4 million children were living with HIV till 2011, whereas the latest estimate of HIV positive was 10600, including both adults and children.The annual incidence of HIV/AIDS patients in Pakistan is more than 0.1 per cent. he said.The expert said that the pregnant women already infected with HIV must be provided with antiretroviral therapy (ART). The ART is administered to the patients only if it is rd.The speaker said that the ART was not only important for prevention of virus transmission to the conceived child but also an important mode of treatment for the infected patients. Dr Ashraf Memon also emphasized the importance of safe delivery practices and safe infant- feeding options as these could significantly curtail risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission.“Twenty two children, both male and female, are presently under treatment at HIV-AIDS Treatment Centre, Civil Hospital,” he said. Prof. Ayesha Mehnaz said that the HIV treatment for children, already inflicted with the virus, was available at dedicated institutes as well as in certain government hospitals. In particular context of HIV among new born, she said it was a vertical transmission disease. Prof. Ayesha Mehnaz also highlighted importance of blood screening for HIV as well as other blood borne infections during pregnancy followed by effective counseling and timely treatment so as to prevent transmission of the diseases.Dr. Noor-Un- Nisa Masqati of the Paediatric Unit of CHK in her presentation, Management and Treatment of HIV/AIDS, said that children acquire HIV during pregnancy, labour, delivery or even after birth.  The management of HIV/AIDS in paediatric group includes antiretroviral therapy, treatment of acute bacterial infections followed by prophylaxis and treatment of opportunistic infections, she said. The doctor said maintenance of good nutrition, immunization, management of AIDS psychological support for the family and palliative care for the terminally ill child, were also of crucial importance.