22 Dec, 2023
The CARMA Global study, part of the EPIICAL project, has successfully met its recruitment target and recruited 99 children and adolescents living with HIV from across the globe. The study includes children and adolescents who acquired HIV around the period of their birth and then started antiretroviral therapy (ART) at a young age to control the virus and prevent its progression.
The primary aim of CARMA Global is to investigate how the body responds to HIV and how the virus is stored and behaves in the body over time. The study involves understanding where the virus hides and how it might, or might not, continue to affect these children and young people over time. With this information, CARMA Global hopes to identify a subgroup of children and young people who show low and undetectable levels of HIV and robust immune responses. These children are the ideal candidates for new approaches or treatments and some may be able to pause their ART.
The success of the recruitment process signals a new phase in paediatric HIV research as this opens the door to insights into the long-term effects of early ART and tailored treatment or curative strategies for children and young people living with HIV. The collaboration of researchers, healthcare providers, and participants highlights the collective commitment to advancing scientific knowledge and, ultimately, moving closer to a future free from the burdens of HIV. As we celebrate this milestone, anticipation builds for the impact the CARMA Global study could have on paediatric HIV care.