amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

ViiV Healthcare and amfAR Partner to Optimize HIV Treatment for Infants and Children in Asia

$2 million initiative created to generate clinical evidence and develop strategies to support life-long pediatric care and help inform global treatment guidelines


(NEW YORK and LONDON) June 17, 2010—Today, ViiV Healthcare and TREAT Asia, a Bangkok-based program of amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, announced a groundbreaking two-year partnership that aims to improve access and optimize the quality of healthcare for infants and children living with HIV across Asia.

Through the initiative, ViiV Healthcare will enable TREAT Asia to build on its extensive regional pediatric HIV program, which aims to increase local clinical and research capacity and advocate for safe and effective HIV care and treatment for children. This partnership will integrate innovative programs in research, provider education, and global advocacy that will be focused on treatment failure, the emergence of drug resistance, and optimizing antiretroviral regimen sequencing for children living with HIV.

Twenty percent of the children under care at TREAT Asia Pediatric Network sites have seen their first antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens fail. The data generated through this partnership 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 partnership with the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre that will help build local capacity for research and promote South-to-South collaborations and sustainability.

“We’re thrilled that ViiV Healthcare has entrusted TREAT Asia with the important task of conducting the research and training needed to prepare for the future of pediatric HIV management in Asia,” said amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost. “With ViiV Healthcare’s support and with the new data we will gather over the next two years, we can design better ways to ensure that children in Asia receive the standard of care needed to live healthier and fuller lives with HIV.”

The partnership between ViiV Healthcare and TREAT Asia specifically addresses critical gaps in current HIV/AIDS care and treatment programs among infants and children. Children have consistently faced greater disadvantages with regard to the availability of ART regimens that can be dosed and delivered to newborns and young children, and that are safe to use during growth and development. Both TREAT Asia and ViiV Healthcare seek to lessen those disadvantages.

“One of ViiV Healthcare’s priorities is to improve the quality of life of children living with HIV by leading and supporting research for optimal management and treatment of HIV. 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 enhance not only our understanding of HIV in children but could be used much more broadly,” said Dr. Dominique Limet, CEO of ViiV Healthcare. “We are committed to sharing all of the findings generated by this partnership with others working within the HIV field to enhance knowledge and improve the management of HIV globally for the benefit of children everywhere.”]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 primary- and provincial-level clinicians in their countries. The focus on education will extend the impact of the ViiV Healthcare partnership and lead to long-term, sustainable benefits as more clinics caring for more children are reached across the region.

In the coming months the partnership will support interventions and activities in Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, including: 

  • Monitoring for the emergence of HIV drug resistance in children who have failed first-line or are already on second-line ART to identify the antiretrovirals needed to optimize regimen sequencing.
  • Applying computer-assisted survey technology to assess adherence in adolescents growing up with HIV.
  • Conducting pharmacokinetic studies of novel and second-line ARVs to evaluate dosing recommendations for Asian infants and children.
  • Studying ART toxicity and outcomes through TREAT Asia’s Pediatric HIV Observational Database, including the use of protease inhibitors and switch practices among adolescents.

The TREAT Asia Pediatric HIV Program is a collaborative network of clinicians, investigators, and healthcare workers providing care and treatment for HIV-infected and -affected infants and children in Asia. The program, which began in 2005, includes 20 centers in eight countries.

About amfAR

amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested more than $307 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide.

About ViiV Healthcare

ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established by GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK.L) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) to deliver advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV. Our aim is to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV/AIDS than any company has done before and then take a new approach to deliver effective and new HIV medicines as well as support communities affected by HIV

Media Contacts:

Cub Barrett, Manager, Program Communications
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research
(212) 806-1602
(212) 806-1601 

Marc Meachem - U.S., Director External Affairs       
ViiV Healthcare
(919) 483 2839 

Scott Purdon - UK, Director Access and Government Affairs 
ViiV Healthcare
+44 (0) 20 8380 6228