HIV/AIDS Glossary

Sexual Maturity Rating (SMR)

Synonym(s): Tanner Staging

A scale used to classify the onset and progression of puberty in children and adolescents. The scale describes five stages of physical development on the basis of sex characteristics, such as pubic hair growth, development of genitalia in boys, and development of breasts in girls. Because children mature at different rates, health care providers use the sexual maturity rating (in addition to age) to determine appropriate dosing of drugs to treat HIV infection and opportunistic infections.

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