In recent years, advancements in medical research have paved the way for an array of treatment options for children living with HIV. The efforts of scientists and researchers globally, have led to continuous refinement and improvement of existing regimens. Dr. Vivian Mumbiro, affectionately known as Dr V, a dedicated Medical Officer at the University of Zimbabwe Clinical Research Centre, shares insights into the evolving landscape of paediatric HIV treatment.
Findings from the Strategy for Maintenance of HIV suppression with integrase inhibitor + darunavir/ritonavir in children (PENTA-17) trial, simply known as SMILE, were published in eClinicalMedicine on 2 June 2023. SMILE is the first randomised trial to determine whether children living with HIV on ART with suppressed viral load could maintain the suppression on a once-daily regimen compared to the standard of care (SOC) which involves three ART drugs.
On 12 May, a Rapid Communication on the reported increase of acute hepatitis of unknown origin in children was published in Eurosurveillance. The paper outlines the extent and geographical distribution of these unexplained paediatric hepatitis cases in Europe and beyond. It also highlights the challenges of drawing comparisons against a baseline of a syndrome which is not under systematic surveillance and has no standard case definitions in place.
Today we launch VERDI, a project that prioritizes women and children in the research on new coronavirus variants
The University of Padua and Penta Foundation are leaders of VERDI, a new European research consortium on coronavirus in children and pregnant women. Carlo Giaquinto, Professor at University of Padova and President of Penta, together with Professor Ali Judd at University College London, will be the scientific coordinators of VERDI.
It’s impossible to ignore the Covid-19 pandemic and how it has gripped the lives of everyone around the world, but it is equally impossible to ignore the thousands of lives that are lost daily to chest infections (pneumonia). According to UNICEF, pneumonia is the single largest cause of death in children under five and the majority of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
Pneumonia needn’t be the deadly infectious disease that it is today.
It was announced at the 8th European AIDS Conference that Angela Colbers and David Burger received the Hector Research Award in HIV 2021 in clinical and/or epidemiological science on behalf of the ODYSSEY trial team!
The winning paper Simplified dolutegravir dosing for children with HIV weighting 20kg or more pharmacokinetic and safety substudies of the multicentre randomised ODYSSEY trial, can be found here.
The CARMA team in the EPIICAL consortium have just published the article Early ART initiation during infancy preserves natural killer cells in young European adolescents living with HIV (CARMA cohort) in the Journal of International AIDS Society.
HIV infection causes pathological changes in the natural killer cell compartment, a type of white blood cell with enzymes that kill cells infected with a virus.
EPIICAL is proud to have presented four abstracts at the CROI conference this year, sharing updated information on viral decay and the immune response of children living with HIV who begin treatment early in life.
The anti-HIV drug Dolutegravir improves outcomes for children with HIV infection when given in a 3-drug combination. These results come from the ODYSSEY trial which was presented yesterday at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.
Dolutegravir has a number of potential advantages, including:
Johnson & Johnson plans to test its coronavirus vaccine in infants and even in newborns, as well as in pregnant women and in people who have compromised immune systems.
The bold plan for expanded clinical trials met with the approval of Dr. Ofer Levy, director of the Precision Vaccines Program at Harvard’s Boston Children’s Hospital and a member of the Food and Drug Administration advisory committee that reviewed the company’s vaccine data.
Authors: Cecilia L. Moore, Anna Turkova , Hilda Mujuru , Adeodata Kekitiinwa, Abbas Lugemwa, Cissy M. Kityo, Linda N. Barlow-Mosha, et al, ODYSSEY trial team
Published in: BMC Infectious Diseases
Background: Dolutegravir (DTG)-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) is highly effective and well-tolerated in adults and is rapidly being adopted globally. We describe the design of the ODYSSEY trial which evaluates the efficacy and safety of DTG-based ART compared with standard-of-care in children and adolescents.
On 12 January 2021, the European Medicine Agency approved the use of dolutegravir 5mg dispersible tablets for treating HIV in young children living in Europe. This decision was based, in part, on data from our ODYSSEY trial, which we are conducting in close collaboration with the MRC CTU at the University College London.
The EMA also authorised updating dosing recommendations for dolutegravir film-coated tablets (10mg, 25mg and 50mg) for children six years and older and weighing at least 14kg,
Data gathered worldwide are increasingly suggesting that schools are not hotspots for coronavirus infections. Despite fears, COVID-19 infections did not surge when schools and day-care centres reopened after pandemic lockdowns eased. And when outbreaks do occur, they mostly result in only a small number of people becoming ill.
However, research also shows that children can catch the virus and shed viral particles, and older children are more likely than very young kids to pass it on to others.
Today we celebrate Human’s Right Day: this year’s theme is “Youth Standing Up for Human Rights”.
School HIV-prevention campaigns in Africa are often designed to frighten children. However, we believe this should be done differently. By providing children with information about HIV we can help prevent fear and ensure children are educated.
Peer-support groups play an important role in providing children and adolescents with information they need about HIV.
Picturing Health has created the first video in a three part series of adolescent films about growing up with HIV. This series of short films tackles the issue of dealing with disclosure and the impact a child being told they are HIV positive.
Check out the video here: https://www.picturinghealth.org/finding-out/
There are also an additional 13 films from Picturing Health covering some of the main areas of paediatric HIV care,
The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day, which we commemorate today, is “Communities make the difference“. Today we highlight the role of communities in ensuring that AIDS remains at the top of the political agenda. Therefore, continuing to respect human rights and enable decision-makers and implementers to be held accountable.
At Penta, we strongly believe in fighting paediatric AIDS. First established in 1991 as a collaboration between paediatric HIV centers in Europe,