Penta HIV guidelines


Dec, 2017

Paediatric European Network for Treatment of AIDS Treatment Guideline 2016 update: antiretroviral therapy recommended for all children living with HIV


Authors: Foster C, Bamford A, Turkova A, Welch S and Klein N. On behalf of the PENTA Guidelines Writing Group and PENTA Steering Committee

Published in: HIV Med. 2017;18(2):133-134






Dec, 2017

Qualitative study of the BREATHER trial (Short Cycle antiretroviral therapy): is it acceptable to young people living with HIV?


Authors: Bernays S, Paparini S, Seeley J, Namukwaya Kihika S, Gibb D, Rhodes T.

Published inBMJ Open. 2017;7(2):e012934

Objectives A qualitative study of the BREATHER (PENTA 16) randomised clinical trial, which compared virological control of Short Cycle Therapy (SCT) (5 days on: 2 days off) with continuous efavirenz (EFV)-based antiretroviral therapy (CT) in children and young people (aged 8–24) living with HIV with viral load <50 c/mL to examine adaptation, acceptability and experience of SCT to inform intervention development.

Setting Paediatric HIV clinics in the UK (2), Ireland (1), the USA (1) and Uganda (1).

Participants All BREATHER trial participants who were over the age of 10 and aware of their HIV diagnosis were invited to participate. 49 young people from both arms of the BREATHER trial (31 females and 18 males; 40% of the total trial population in the respective sites; age range 11–24) gave additional consent to participate in the qualitative study.

Results Young people from both trial arms had initial concerns about the impact of SCT on their health and adherence, but these decreased over the early months in the trial. Young people randomised to SCT reported preference for SCT compared with CT pre-trial. Attitudes to SCT did not vary greatly by gender or country. Once short-term adaptation challenges were overcome, SCT was positively described as reducing impact of side effects, easing the pressure to carry and remember medication and enabling more weekend social activities. Young people on both arms reported frequent medication side effects and occasional missed doses that they had rarely voiced to clinical staff. Participants liked SCT by trial end but were concerned that peers who had most problems adhering could find SCT disruptive and difficult to manage.

Conclusions To realise the potential of SCT (and mitigate possible risks of longer interruptions), careful dissemination and communication post-trial is needed. SCT should be provided alongside a package of monitoring, support and education over 3 months to allow adaptation.



Mar, 2017



Happy to announce our ZIKAction project website is now live!

Watch this space…


Mar, 2017

RESCEU €29m research grant to assess risk posed by deadly lung infections


Experts have received €29 million (£24m) to investigate serious lung infections that particularly affect babies and older people.

Diseases caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are estimated to affect more than 30 million children under five each year throughout the world.

The virus also affects older people and those with weakened immune systems, including cancer patients and people with chronic lung diseases such as emphysema.

Download .doc


Mar, 2017

Towards better medicines for children: PedCRIN project builds research infrastructure


The European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN) has announced the launch of the Paediatric Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (PedCRIN). The three-year project brings together ECRIN and the founding partners of the European Paediatric Clinical Trial Research Infrastructure (EPCT-RI) to develop capacity for the management of multinational paediatric clinical trials.

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Dec, 2016

Prevalence of depressive symptoms in pregnant and postnatal HIV-positive women in Ukraine: a cross-sectional survey


Authors: Bailey H, Malyuta R, Townsend C, Cortina Borja M, Thorne C for the Ukraine European Collaborative Study in EuroCoord.

Published in: Reprod Health. 2016;22(3):13-27.

Background Perinatal depression among HIV-positive women has negative implications for HIV-related and other maternal and infant outcomes. The aim of this study was to investigate the burden and correlates of perinatal depression among HIV-positive women in Ukraine, a lower middle income country with one of the largest HIV-positive populations in Europe.

Methods Cross-sectional surveys nested within the Ukraine European Collaborative Study were conducted of HIV-positive women at delivery and between 1 and 12 months postpartum. Depressive symptoms in the previous month were assessed using a self-report screening tool. Other data collected included demographics, antiretroviral therapy (ART)-related self-efficacy, and perceptions of risks/benefits of interventions to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT). Characteristics of women with and without a positive depression screening test result were compared using Fisher’s exact test and χ2 test for categorical variables.

Results A quarter (27% (49/180) antenatally and 25% (57/228) postnatally) of participants screened positive for depressive symptoms. Antenatal risk factors were living alone (58% (7/12) vs. 25% (42/167) p = 0.02), being somewhat/terribly bothered by ART side effects (40% (17/43) vs. 23% (30/129) not /only slightly bothered, p = 0.05) and having lower ART-related self-efficacy (43% (12/28) vs. 23% (25/110) with higher self-efficacy, p = 0.05). Postnatally, single mothers were more likely to screen positive (44% (20/45) vs. 21% (18/84) of cohabiting and 19% (19/99) of married women, p < 0.01) as were those unsure of the effectiveness of neonatal prophylaxis (40% (20/45) vs. 18% (28/154) sure of effectiveness, p < 0.01), those worried that neonatal prophylaxis could harm the baby (30% (44/146) vs. 14% (10/73) not worried p < 0.01) and those not confident to ask for help with taking ART (48% (11/23) vs. 27% (10/37) fairly confident and 15 % (4/26) confident that they could do this). Of women who reported wanting help for their depressive symptoms, 82% (37/45) postnatally but only 31% (12/39) antenatally were already accessing peer counselling, treatment adherence programmes, support groups or social services.

Conclusions A quarter of women screened positive for depression. Results highlight the need for proactive strategies to identify depressive symptoms, and an unmet need for provision of mental health support in the perinatal period for HIV-positive women in Ukraine.




Nov, 2016

The ZIKAction Kick-Off Meeting was a success!


The ZIKAction Kick-Off Meeting was held in Kingston, Jamaica at the University of West Indies from October 30th to November 1st.


Thank you all for coming!!

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 734857.


Oct, 2016

PENTA Foundation coordinated ZIKAction consortium


PENTA Foundation coordinated ZIKAction consortium awarded €7 million EU H2020 grant to combat Zika virus and other emerging infectious disease outbreaks

The ZIKAction consortium (Preparedness, research and action network on maternal-paediatric axis of Zika virus infection in Latin America and the Caribbean), coordinated by the PENTA Foundation, is set to receive a €7 million, five-year grant from the European Union through the Horizon 2020 programme’s recent call for research to combat Zika virus (ZIKV) and other emerging infections transmitted by mosquitoes in Latin America. This award is one of three issued under this Horizon 2020 call, totalling €30 million in funding.

Composed of 14 partners across Latin America, the Caribbean, North America and Europe, the ZIKAction consortium includes experts in infectious disease, virology, neonatology and epidemiology. ZIKAction will conduct an interdisciplinary programme of research studies to address key knowledge gaps related to ZIKV epidemiology, natural history and pathogenesis, focussing on maternal and child health. This will include multi-site prospective cohort studies of pregnant women with ZIKV infection and their infants in Brazil, Jamaica, Haiti and Costa Rica, to elucidate the timing and mechanisms of vertical transmission of ZIKV and to investigate burden and natural history of congenital and acquired paediatric ZIKV infection. Novel diagnostic methodologies will be developed and validated within the network, and studies conducted to increase understanding of the pathogenesis of ZIKV vertical transmission and the development of microcephaly and other fetal brain abnormalities.

Activities will leverage the experience and expertise of the PENTA-ID network and other key partners in conducting studies on other congenital infections, including HIV, building strong collaborations in regions heavily impacted by the Zika virus to provide the information essential to confront the current epidemic. ZIKAction will collaborate with the two other H2020-funded ZIKV research consortia (ZIKAlliance and Zika PLAN) to develop a Latin-American and Caribbean network for emerging infectious diseases preparedness and response, as well as with activities of the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R).

The grant is expected to be signed next week.

More info
EU response to the outbreak of the Zika Virus Disease
EU-funded research on Zika

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 734857.


Sep, 2016

First patient enrolled in ODYSSEY study


We are happy to announce that the first patient was enrolled in the ODYSSEY study by the team in Zimbabwe.

We encourage all the sites to follow.


We would like to update you on our recent activities