Vietnam hospital says anemic 3-year-old boy has AIDS

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Hua Van Dung, a three-year-old AIDS patient at the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion in Hanoi. Photo courtesy of the institute

Doctors at the National Hospital of Pediatrics in Hanoi say that an emaciated three-year-old boy hospitalized earlier this month has tested positive for HIV and is now suffering from full-blown AIDS.

Hua Van Dung, who is being treated at the hospital's Contagious Department, contracted HIV from his mother, Sam Seyadoussane, head of the Canada-based Virtual Medical Miracle Network that is helping with the case, told Thanh Nien News via email.

Dung is suffering from acute pneumonia and anemia, and weak reactions, doctors said.

The boy, a member of the Tay ethnic minority, was first brought to the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, also in Hanoi, on March 18, startling doctors as he weighed just six kilograms half of the standard for his age.

Dr. Ha Thi Sen from the institute said the boy has a form of severe malnutrition known as Marasmus, characterized by inadequate energy intake in all forms, including protein. Official data showed half of children with Marasmus die for lack of treatment.

Hung's mother, Ma Thi Nhich, told news website VnExpress that her son had grown normally for the first six months of his life in which she breastfed him; and that he had weighed eight kilograms at that time.

Then he stopped gaining weight and started becoming weaker and paler, Nhich said.

She took the boy to the provincial hospital in their hometown Tuyen Quang and he was given a blood transfusion, but she said she did not remember what doctors told her about his condition.

He received the latest transfusion around six months ago, but his health worsened recently, so she decided to take him to Hanoi 170 kilometers away.

"I didn't have money to feed him milk or meat. I could only afford plain porridge and he just had several spoons each time.

"He has never been able to walk or speak. He could sit at his strongest moments, or he just lied in bed," said the mother who is pregnant with her second child.

Doctors at the Hanoi pediatrics hospital are deciding which medications to use to treat Dung's condition.

Those wishing to make donations to the boy can do so at the National Hospital of Pediatrics at 18/879 La Thanh Street, Dong Da District. His mother can be contacted on her mobile phone: (84) (0)1688446273.

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