FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 7, 2002
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) today announced $36 million in renewed funding for the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group (PACTG), and a greater focus on both adolescent research and international pediatric research. The new five-year awards will support 18 university-based clinical trials sites, a statistical and data management center, and a coordinating and operations center.
The PACTG has pioneered key trials evaluating treatments for children with HIV and has made great advances in reducing the rate of mother-to-infant HIV transmission in the developed world. The epidemic among adolescents in the United States, however, has become an increasing concern. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 4,219 cumulative cases of AIDS among adolescents, or children ages 13 through 19, were reported through June 2001,1 and the number of adolescents living with HIV is estimated to be much higher. Because the average length of time between HIV infection and the development of AIDS is 10 years, it is believed that many adults became infected as adolescents. Most adolescents infected with HIV are at an early stage of disease and are ideal candidates for early intervention and treatment strategies.
HIV and AIDS also continue to take a devastating toll on women and children in developing countries, where more than 90 percent of all HIV/AIDS cases occur. In 2001, approximately 2.7 million children younger than age 15 were living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, and 580,000 children in this age group died from HIV-associated illnesses or AIDS, according to a UNAIDS report.2 In addition to the suffering of children, 48 percent of adults living with HIV/AIDS in the world are women, many of whom are of childbearing age.2 To this end, the PACTG will also directly support clinical research at four international sites, two in South Africa and two in Thailand.
"The Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group has been instrumental in forging new prevention and treatment strategies for HIV-infected mothers and their children, and in working to extend and improve the quality of their lives," says Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of NIAID. "As the global scope of the epidemic evolves, the PACTG will continue to tackle the most critical needs in pediatric and adolescent HIV/AIDS research both in the United States and the developing world."
The new research agenda of the PACTG emphasizes five key areas:
Before the PACTG was established, clinical studies of HIV-positive mothers, children and adolescents were carried out and funded through NIAID's AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG). In 1995, an independent review panel recommended the PACTG become a separate entity from the ACTG. The PACTG was established as an independent network in 1997 and now comprises 18 Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Units funded by NIAID, and 35 domestic and international sites funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. To date, the PACTG has initiated 113 clinical trials and, as of December 2001, has enrolled approximately 27,432 women and children. Some noteworthy studies and findings include:
For more information on pediatric or adult clinical trials, contact the AIDS Clinical Trials Information Service at 1-800-TRIALS-A (1-800-874-2572), 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. Bilingual health specialists are available. You can also visit their Web site at http://www.actis.org.
ALABAMA University of Alabama at BirminghamRobert Pass, M.D.
CALIFORNIA University of California at Los AngelesSchool of MedicineYvonne J. Bryson, M.D.
University of California at San DiegoStephen A. Spector, M.D.
University of California at San FranciscoMoffit HospitalDiane W. Wara, M.D.
FLORIDA University of Miami School of MedicineGwendolyn B. Scott, M.D.
ILLINOIS Children's Memorial HospitalChicagoRam Yogev, M.D.
LOUISIANA Tulane University Medical School/New OrleansRussell Van Dyke, M.D.
MARYLAND Johns Hopkins University School ofPublic Health and HygieneBaltimoreAndrea Ruff, M.D.
TENNESSEE St. Jude Children's Research Hospital/MemphisPatricia Flynn, M.D.
TEXAS Texas Children's Hospital/HoustonWilliam T. Shearer, M.D., Ph.D.
MASSACHUSETTS Children's HospitalBostonKenneth McIntosh, M.D.
University of Massachusetts Medical School/WorchesterKatherine F. Luzuriaga, M.D.
NEW JERSEY UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical SchoolNewarkPaul Palumbo, M.D.
NEW YORK Bronx-Lebanon Hospital CenterSaroj Bakshi, M.D.
Columbia University College ofPhysicians and SurgeonsColumbia Presbyterian Medical CenterNew York CityAnne A. Gershon, M.D.
NORTH CAROLINA Duke University Medical CenterDurhamRoss McKinney, Jr., M.D.
PENNSYLVANIA Children's Hospital of PhiladelphiaStuart E. Starr, M.D.
PUERTO RICO University of Puerto RicoPediatric HospitalSan JuanIrma Febo, M.D.
STATISTICAL AND DATA MANAGEMENT CENTER Harvard School of Public HealthBoston, MAMichael D. Hughes, Ph.D.
COORDINATING AND RESEARCH OPERATIONS CENTER Social & Scientific Systems, Inc.Bethesda, MDSteven A. Spector, M.D.
NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of
infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News
releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at www.niaid.nih.gov.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research,
and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
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Last Updated March 07, 2002