HIV/AIDS Research

HIV researchers within the Division have focussed on the mechanism of perinatal transmission of HIV, early diagnosis of HIV infection in infants, the natural history of HIV infection and the pathogenesis of infection and factors involved in long term survival.

The Division receives both federal and private funding for several large research projects. We participate in the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT) which offers clinical trials to HIV seropositive pregnant women and infected infants and children. Our Center has a distinguished history in clinical trials. We participated in the design and implementation of clinical trials for both zidovudine and didanosine in children with HIV infection. Results of these trials were critical for the licensure of both drugs for use in children. We were also instrumental in initiating trials of zidovudine in pregnant women. We participated in a large double blind, placebo controlled, multicenter trial to test the effect of zidovudine use by HIV seropositive pregnant women. Results showed a significant reduction of perinatal HIV transmission from 25% to 8%. Our Center enrolled 50 women and their infants in this trial, the largest number at any single site. The findings of this trial represent a breakthrough in the prevention of pediatric HIV infection.

Our faculty are recognized for their expertise in HIV and participate in many advisory groups, consensus workshops and national and international meetings related to HIV/AIDS in children. The Division has also been awarded Ryan White Part A and D funding for health and support services for persons with HIV spectrum.