Preserving the Impact of Pediatric AIDS Research
September 27, 2010
As the AIDS Vaccine 2010
conference begins today in Atlanta, there are changes coming at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
that could impact pediatric and maternal HIV research.
The structure of the clinical trials networks that are critical to advancing this research is currently being reevaluated by the Division of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (DAIDS)
of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
One of the networks – the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT)
– and its predecessors have 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.
The Foundation is supporting the preservation of a network solely dedicated to maternal and pediatric AIDS research, covering issues including vaccines, PMTCT, and treatment.
The IMPAACT network currently houses most of the large, pediatric-focused trials being done both domestically and abroad, most notably the upcoming PROMISE Trial
, which will track approximately 8,000 women and children across different geographic and resource settings.
The results should help researchers learn the optimal ways to reduce the risk of HIV transmission from infected pregnant women to their babies during pregnancy and breastfeeding, while preserving the health of mother and child.
The Foundation is committed to ensuring that maternal and child research does not fall through the cracks during the restructuring process. Foundation President and CEO Charles Lyons recently sent a letter to Dr. Anthony Fauci
, the head of NIAID, to express the Foundation’s concerns.
Additionally, Foundation Ambassador Jamie Gentille and Dr. Jeffrey Safrit, our Director of Clinical and Basic Research, took the opportunity to comment on the AIDS.gov blog about the subject
They provide two perspectives – one personal and one scientific – that offer compelling reasons to keep a dedicated maternal child network.
We’ll continue to monitor the restructuring process over the next few weeks, including attending a town hall meeting with DAIDS on October 26th.
Check back for more information after the meeting, and learn more about the Foundation’s commitment to advancing research
to eliminate pediatric HIV and AIDS.
Katie Lapides is a Foundation Public Policy Officer based in Washington, D.C.