amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

ViiV Healthcare and TREAT Asia Partner to Optimize HIV Treatment for Children



October 2010— HIV-positive children consistently face greater disadvantages than adults when it comes to antiretroviral therapy (ART). Relatively few ART regimens are available that can be dosed and delivered to children and that are safe for growing and developing bodies. Among children under care at TREAT Asia's pediatric sites, approximately 15 percent have seen their first-line ART regimens fail.

With the aim of improving access to higher quality healthcare for HIV-positive infants and children in Asia, TREAT Asia and ViiV Healthcare have established a two-year initiative. Building on the efforts of the TREAT Asia Pediatric Network, the initiative will help develop strategies to support lifelong pediatric care and generate clinical evidence to inform global treatment guidelines.

The partnership between ViiV and TREAT Asia, announced in June, addresses critical gaps in current HIV/ AIDS care and treatment programs among infants and children. Research, provider education, and advocacy programs supported by ViiV will focus on treatment failure, drug resistance, and optimizing pediatric ART.

"We believe that TREAT Asia, with its extensive infrastructure, relationships, and expertise across the region, is an ideal partner to undertake this critical research, which we hope will not only enhance our understanding of HIV in children but could be used much more broadly," said Dr. Dominique Limet, CEO of ViiV Healthcare.

The data generated through this project will create an evidence base from which to identify best practices in ART management to delay first-line failure, and will directly influence the quality of local, national, and regional pediatric HIV care and treatment guidelines. Coordination, data management, and analysis will take place in Asia through a unique collaboration with the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre.

A major part of the initiative will be to develop medical education programs built on the clinical experience and research being done by TREAT Asia's network of pediatric HIV providers so that they can train other primaryand provincial-level clinicians in their countries.