We are proud to announce that the European Pregnancy and Paediatric Infections Cohort Collaboration (EPPICC) was awarded a grant from the ViiV Global HIV and COVID-19 Emergency Fund to conduct research on the direct and indirect impact of COVID-19 on children and adolescents living with HIV across Europe and South Africa.
Europe has been severely affected by COVID-19, and South Africa has a high burden of paediatric HIV and has been hit hardest by the COVID-19 epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa to date. The impact of the pandemic on the paediatric HIV population is unknown. Using high-quality real-world data from established paediatric HIV cohorts in EPPICC, this new study will assess the incidence of COVID-19 disease, associated risk factors and clinical outcomes, in the paediatric HIV population. We will explore the broader impact of the COVID-19 ‘lockdown’ environment, including disruption to HIV services, on the short, medium and long-term HIV outcomes across these regions. Collaborating with partners across Europe and the Western Cape of South Africa, we will also assess the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in this population. We will work closely with global paediatric HIV cohorts through the International AIDS Society Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research (CIPHER) network to harmonise data collection tools for COVID-19 to enable future global analyses.
EPPICC is an international network of cohort studies coordinated by Penta, conducting epidemiological research on pregnant women and children living with HIV, and children exposed to HIV in utero. This encompasses a programme of work utilising individual patient data meta-analyses, pharmacovigilance projects and other observational studies, and also spans hepatitis C and TB.