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JAMA study shows what works in treating HIV-infected African children
Date:10/24/2007

and children.

Many of the children enrolled in the study were already two points below their expected weight-for-age score, and those who were infected but did not get antiretrovirals worsened. But those who got the drugs went up in weight, and many of the youngest HIV patients in the study went up by an entire point in their weight-for-age score.

Also in the study, the pediatric care was provided by nurses and clinical officers, which are the equivalent to physician assistants in the United States. The decision by Zambian officials to allow HIV-infected children enrolled in the JAMA study to be treated by non-physicians allowed more lives to be saved, said Craig Wilson. M.D., director of UABs Sparkman Center for Global Health and a co-author on the study.

The prioritization by CIDRZ and the Zambian government of getting care to these children as well as the development of targeted protocols and training made all of this possible. It ensures the broadest access to treatment and benefit, Wilson said. He along with Celia Hutto, M.D. a professor of infectious diseases in the UAB Department of Pediatrics, traveled to Zambia repeatedly to help develop protocols and train health workers in pediatric HIV care.

The Zambian Ministry of Health, through CIDRZ and other international health agencies, provide antiretrovirals at primary care clinics in Lusaka, where HIV infection rates are high. Stringer said the drug-therapy project in children is being done in conjunction with a large-scale project to reduce mother-to-child HIV transmission through patient testing and education.


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Contact: Troy Goodman
tdgoodman@uab.edu
205-934-8938
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Source:Eurekalert

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