Oct, 2020

COVID and HIV: Psychological impact and awareness of COVID-19 in young people with HIV

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Authors: S. Bernardi1, E. Mozzo, M. Di Pastena, F. Leone, C. Novello, A. Oletto, N. Cotugno, P. Zangari, P. Palma, V. Santilli, P. Palma, O. Rampon, C. Giaquinto

Published in: 12th National Congress of Italian Conference on AIDS and Antiviral Research

Background: Public health emergencies may affect the health, safety, and well-being of both individuals and communities. These effects may translate into a range of emotional reactions and unhealthy behaviours. Some people may be more vulnerable than others to the psychosocial effects of pandemics. Young people living with HIV can experience solitude, depression and anxiety as a consequence of the stigma that continues to surround HIV and the daily challenge of living with a chronic infection. We investigated the psychological impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic among a group of HIV-infected young people and assessed their knowledge on HIV and COVID-19 infections.



Oct, 2020

PAIRED PANDEMICS: Ensuring HIV Care Continuity and Market Stability During COVID-19

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Join this webinar, hosted by CHAI, to get highlights on key trends in the HIV space in LMICs from CHAI’s 2020 HIV Market Report.

You can expect an insightful panel discussion focusing on the resiliency of national HIV programs and markets and ensuring HIV care continuity during these trying times.

Date: November 12 2020

Time: 8am – 9am EST (13 – 14 GMT)

Register to join the webinar here.


Oct, 2020

Launch of Global Accelerator for Paediatric Formulations (GAP-f) by WHO

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Penta is the lead of the Clinical Research Working Group for the newly launched Global Accelerator for Paediatric Formulations (GAP-f), a network led by the World Health Organisation. (more…)


Oct, 2020

c4c publishes first peer reviewed publication


The c4c project, co-coordinated by Penta together with Janssen, Bayer and the University of Liverpool, has had its first review, titled “European research networks to facilitate drug research in children”, published by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.  We are proud to have the Penta_ID Network involved in such an impactful project as a speciality network.


This review discusses the need for a structured approach to drug development by establishing and utilizing research networks and infrastructure.

The publication explores how research networks and infrastructure can address the unmet medical needs for new, innovative medicines for children, while removing the barriers faced in paediatric drug development.


A structured approach overcomes:

  • Fragmentation of stakeholders
  • Provides a consistent framework for all stages of drug development
  • Speeds up research by using the same systems and processes for each trial
  • Enhances quality
  • Can ensure that the voices of patients and caregivers are heard


This review, authored by members of the c4c Project Leadership Team and consortium, summarises recent efforts to overcome barriers faced in paediatric drug development by two exemplar initiatives: The European Paediatric Translational Research Infrastructure (EPTRI) and conect4children (c4c).


“The c4c project will make a culture change that fosters international and global approaches with cooperation and collaboration across paediatric clinical trials development and conduct.

It will deliver high quality and rigorous datasets to promote quality in study designs and interoperability.

Strong communication channels across initiatives allow for the avoidance of working in silos and the duplication of efforts.”


Dr. Birka Lehmann, Senior Expert Drug Regulatory Affairs, University of Bonn Lecturer & c4c External Advisory Board Member


The full review is available to view here


Oct, 2020

European research networks to facilitate drug research in children



Author: Mark A. Turner, Katharine Cheng, Saskia de Wildt, Heidrun Hildebrand, Sabah Attar, Paolo Rossi, Donato Bonifazi, Adriana Ceci, Joana Claverol, Begonya Nafria, Carlo Giaquinto

Published in: British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

Abstract: Paediatric drug development faces several barriers. These include fragmentation of stakeholders and inconsistent processes during the conduct of research. This review summarises recent efforts to overcome these barriers in Europe. Two exemplar initiatives are described. The European Paediatric Translational Research Infrastructure facilitates preclinical research and other work that underpins clinical trials. conect4children facilitates the design and implementation of clinical trials. Both these initiatives listen to the voices of children and their advocates. Coordination of research needs specific effort that supplements work on science, resources and the policy context.




Oct, 2020

Penta Projects in Schools: What do young people know about HIV?


Authors: Elena Mozzo; Valentina Ortolan; Elena Badio; Federica Batterman; and Chiara Novello

In October 2019, Penta began hosting HIV educational sessions in 5 high schools in Padova, Italy.

From October to December 2019, a total of 13 meetings were held with 16-year-old students. For each session, the first 2 hours consisted of a medical doctor discussing the scientific aspects of HIV infection, followed by 2 hours with an HIV activist, discussing the social aspects of HIV.

Each student who attended the session was asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire before (pre-test) and after (post-test) the session. A total of 356 pre-tests and 238 post-tests were completed.

Analysed pre-test data highlighted a number of areas of misinformation in the route of transmission, prevention, and treatments of HIV. Following analysis of the post-test data, it was found that overall students’ correct responses to questions around the route of transmission and prevention increased by 95%.

Data collected show a fair knowledge of HIV/AIDS among young people. Every effort must be made to educate young people, and these educational events have proved an effective means to do so.

Penta firmly believes in sexual education for young people as a means of both promoting sexual health and combatting the stigma around sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV, thus contributing to the improvement of the quality of life of seropositive people.

Click here to follow the Facebook page of the Penta Education (in Italian).



Oct, 2020

How European Paediatric emergency departments responded to the first wave of SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic

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Between February and May 2020, during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we sent out a survey to all European paediatric sites within the Penta ID research network. The aim of the study was to describe the implementation of SARS-CoV-2 disease (COVID-19) testing and infection control strategies, and their evolution in paediatric emergency departments in Europe.

Although infection control strategies and even discharge of patients relied heavily on receiving SARS-CoV-2 test results, most hospitals only received these after considerable delay, often more than twenty-four hours.

Shortening turnaround times for tests should be a priority. Prior to discharge, infection control measures on uninfected patients awaiting test results place a huge burden on emergency care resources.

Most departments rightly responded by discharging patients while test results were pending. This does not, however, mitigate against the public health impact of delayed result reporting on efficient contact tracing and subsequent isolation or quarantine of contacts in the community.

Children and adolescents suffer serious consequences from school closures and allowing schools to stay open has positive social, psychological and economic implications. Benefits of broader access to testing may include the ability to detect outbreaks in day care facilities and schools earlier in order to limit spread of infections while maintaining as much normality as possible for children and adolescents.

Download the full survey report here


Oct, 2020

SARS-CoV-2 testing and infection control strategies in European paediatric emergency departments during the first wave of the pandemic

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Published in: European Journal of Pediatrics


Authors: Malte Kohns Vasconcelos & Hanna Renk & Jolanta Popielska & Maggie Nyirenda Nyang’wa & Sigita Burokiene & Despoina Gkentzi & Ewelina Gowin & Daniele Donà & Sara Villanueva-Medina & Andrew Riordan & Markus Hufnagel & Sarah Eisen & Liviana Da Dalt & Carlo Giaquinto & Julia A. Bielicki1


Abstract: Between February and May 2020, during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, paediatric emergency departments in 12 European countries were prospectively surveyed on their implementation of SARS-CoV-2 disease (COVID-19) testing and infection control strategies. All participating departments (23) implemented standardised case definitions, testing guidelines, early triage and infection control strategies early in the outbreak. Patient testing criteria initially focused on suspect cases and later began to include screening, mainly for hospital admissions. Long turnaround times for test results likely put additional strain on healthcare resources.

Conclusion: Shortening turnaround times for SARS-CoV-2 tests should be a priority. Specific paediatric testing criteria are needed.


Download the full article here.KohnsVasconcelos2020_Article_SARS-CoV-2TestingAndInfectionC


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