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International AIDS Society and ViiV prioritise paediatric HIV research

1.5 million additional funding from ViiV Healthcare enables the programme expansion

Thursday, 24 July, 2014 (Melbourne, Australia) - The International AIDS Society (IAS) is announcing an additional 1.5 million UK pounds funding for its paediatric HIV programme known as CIPHER*. The new funding will attempt to address a significant gap in HIV - understanding and advancing new ways to prevent and treat HIV among children in resource limited settings. Despite decades of effort by donors and governments, only 34% of eligible children today receive life-saving HIV treatment. This is approximately half the rate of adults.

The CIPHER programme has already supported three key initiatives: a grant programme which awarded grants to seven young investigators in 2013 for research on priority topics in paediatric HIV in resource-limited settings; the establishment of a global collaboration of paediatric HIV cohorts, representing some 280,000 children and adolescents, looking at two important research questions: the duration of first-line treatment in children, and adolescent epidemiology and transition to adult care; and the launch of a Paediatric HIV research database to act as a forum and tool for researchers, funders and policy makers. All three initiatives will continue into 2014-15.

'These investments are fundamental in helping us address the treatment and prevention gaps among children," said Owen Ryan, Executive Director of the IAS. "We are incredibly proud of our partnership with ViiV, without whom this work would not be possible'.

An additional challenge is the lack of access to timely, reliable early infant diagnosis in resource-limited settings. In 2012, only 39% of HIV-exposed infants received testing for HIV in the first two months of life, which is when the risk of death is highest. This paediatric treatment gap is inexcusable. CIPHER's projects aim to support evidence-informed clinical, policy and programmatic decision making which optimize paediatric care and access to services.

'We are absolutely delighted, as the founding partner of such an innovative and successful initiative as CIPHER, to see the commitment and programme expand based on the success of the initial two-year programme' said Dr. Dominque Limet, CEO of ViiV Heatlhcare. 'Paediatric HIV is one of our key priorities as part of our overall commitment to people living with HIV, and therefore we are proud to renew our support to CIPHER and the IAS for the next two years.'

As part of the expanded programme a new round of CIPHER grants will be launched by the IAS, with at least four grants to be awarded at the 8th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention ( IAS 2015 ), in Vancouver, 19-22 July 2015.

Two of the current grantees will present their research findings in Melbourne.

Rebecca Hodes will present preliminary findings from her project with the oral abstract "Promoting adolescent antiretroviral adherence and sexual and reproductive health uptake: Interim findings from the Mzantsi Wakho study in Eastern Cape of South Africa" on Wednesday 23 July, 14:30 - 16:00, MCEC Plenary Room 2.

Degu Jerene Dare will be giving an oral abstract presentation, The Effect of Antiretroviral Therapy on Tuberculosis Incidence Rate among Adolescents and Younger Children Living with HIV in Ethiopia, at a pre-conference Virology Education workshop on HIV Paediatrics on 19 July.

Two CIPHER grantees from the 2013 grant round to be awarded at AIDS 2014

Eric McCollum, John's Hopkins School of Medicine, USA, will receive a grant for research in Malawi, on Bubble CPAP treatment in hospitalized African infants failing standard pneumonia care in a high HIV prevalence country. Pneumonia is the most common cause of death in children 5 years old worldwide. Pneumonia mortality rates in Africa are high and increased further in HIV-infected children. Treatment innovations are needed. Bubble continuous positive airway pressure (bCPAP) is an innovative, effective, low-cost, simple, non-invasive ventilation approach to treat severe paediatric respiratory illnesses. This study will assess bCPAP effects on mortality and physiology in children failing standard pneumonia treatment to inform current care and potential refinements to bCPAP technology.

Tavitiya Sudjaritruk, Research Institute for Health Sciences, Chang Mai University, Thailand, will receive a grant for research in Thailand, on Liver injury and long-term metabolic complications among perinatally HIV-infected children and adolescents receiving antiretroviral therapy. As the HIV epidemic matures, there is an increasing population of perinatally-HIV infected youth taking lifelong antiretroviral treatment (ART). This study focuses on the long-term complications of HIV infection and ART among perinatally HIV-infected children and adolescents. The specific aim is to determine the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in perinatally HIV-infected youths in a resource-limited setting.

Further details on the CIPHER programme can be found at:

* Collaborative Initiative on Paediatric HIV Education and Research (CIPHER)


About ViiV Healthcare
ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established in November 2009 by GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) dedicated to delivering advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV. Shionogi joined as a shareholder in October 2012. The company's aim is to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV/AIDS than any company has done before and take a new approach to deliver effective and new HIV medicines, as well as support communities affected by HIV. For more information on the company, its management, portfolio, pipeline and commitment, please visit

About the IAS
The International AIDS Society (IAS) is the world's leading independent association of HIV professionals, with members from more than 170 countries working at all levels of the global response to AIDS. The IAS members include researchers from all disciplines, clinicians, public health and community practitioners on the frontlines of the epidemic, as well as policy and programme planners.

The IAS is custodian of the biennial International AIDS Conference, which will be held in Melbourne, Australia, 20-25 July 2014 and lead organizer of the IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention, which will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 19-22 July 2015 | |

For more information:

Sian Bowen (Geneva, Switzerland)                            
IAS Senior Manager, Communications, AIDS 2014
Tel: +61 499 104 186                                                

Francesca Da Ros (Geneva, Switzerland)                            
IAS Senior Coordinator, Communications and Media                  
Tel:  +41 22 710 0822

"Reproduced with permission - International AIDS Society"

International AIDS Society

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