Rare HIV Transmission Strikes 2 Boy, 5, and Woman, 75, Caught Infection from Household Members

Article excerpt

A child and an elderly woman have contracted HIV from household members, a rare mode of transmission, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

Health officials know of only six other cases of household transmission in which there was no evidence of sexual intercourse, shared needles or blood transfusion. Last year, health officials reported that two children contracted HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, from other children living in their homes, apparently through broken skin.

One of the two latest cases involves a woman, 75, who tested positive for HIV in 1991, a year after the adult son she'd cared for at home died of AIDS.

"She didn't recall anything like a needle stick or a blood spill," said Dr. Harold Jaffe, director of the CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS. He commented Thursday. "But she did do things like change his diapers, and she remembered getting feces on her hands."

Her son had a history of gastrointestinal bleeding, diarrhea and hemorrhoids, but no visible blood had been noticed at home, the report said. …