NIH Decides to Preserve Research Networks Dedicated to Fighting HIV/AIDS in Mothers and Children
October 27, 2010
A month ago, I wrote about potential changes at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
that could affect HIV/AIDS research for mothers and children. The Division of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (DAIDS)
– part of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
– was reevaluating the structure of research networks, and deciding whether there should continue to be a network solely dedicated to maternal/pediatric AIDS research
Photo: Jon Hrusa for EGPAF
The Foundation spoke out in support of preserving this kind of network, which has been involved in much of the cutting-edge research that has led to our knowledge of how to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV.
Yesterday at a NIH-NIAID-sponsored town hall held just outside of Washington, D.C., we were delighted to hear NIAID publicly state that mothers and children will continue to have their own dedicated trial network
. This network will continue to be jointly funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
(NICHD). The continued support of NICHD has been instrumental in advancement of research for these vulnerable populations.
As Foundation Vice President of Research Dr. Laura Guay recently told the Cleveland Plain Dealer
, these populations have often been overlooked in AIDS research and need the special attention that a dedicated network provides.
From discovering new avenues for PMTCT, to a vaccine or functional cure for the disease, scientific innovation is still urgently needed for maternal and child populations. Additionally, research on implementation of proven interventions is vital to ensure that the tools we have today are being used effectively and efficiently.
Conducting these clinical trials, and translating the scientific findings into our work on the ground, is a vital part of our pursuit to eliminate pediatric AIDS.
As NIAID works out the rest of the structure of the networks, the Foundation will continue to follow the issue and weigh in when necessary on behalf of mothers and children.
Katie Lapides is a Public Policy Officer for the Foundation, based in Washington, D.C.