Pediatric HIV and AIDS Research and Product Development
(Photo: Mia Collis)
More than two decades ago, Elizabeth Glaser began lobbying Congress to call for more research for drugs to treat HIV/AIDS in children. What started as a mother’s fight to save her child has become the EGPAF mission. Today, EGPAF advocates for children around the world to have access to the best prevention and care that science and medicine have to offer.
HIV/AIDS research and pediatric drug development remain key priorities for EGPAF. In order to eliminate pediatric AIDS, research in both medical science and public health practice must be conducted to increase the effectiveness of HIV care and treatment and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programs on the ground.
Pediatric HIV Vaccine Research
(Photo: Jon Hrusa)
900 children contract HIV every day (UNAIDS 2012), the vast majority through mother-to-child transmission of HIV. While efforts to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV have dramatically reduced the number of infants born HIV-positive worldwide, eliminating pediatric AIDS will require innovative prevention strategies and research. A pediatric HIV vaccine would protect infants born to HIV-positive mothers against HIV infection during breastfeeding, as well as set the stage for lifetime immunity for all infants -- creating the first generation protected from and free of HIV. EGPAF advocates for continued strong investment in HIV/AIDS research, including the development of a pediatric HIV vaccine, as the best hope for eliminating pediatric AIDS worldwide.
HIV/AIDS Operations Research
(Photo: Georgina Goodwin)
The fight against HIV/AIDS demands not just scientific advances, but also effective and efficient service delivery. This requires far greater investment in operations research to advance current public health practices and to improve the lives of women, children, and families living with HIV and AIDS.
EGPAF advocates for increased HIV/AIDS operations research to study how best to translate scientific knowledge about the prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS into better and more widespread medical care. Specifically, EGPAF supports operations research around HIV care and treatment programs and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) to help eliminate pediatric HIV. EGPAF also works to ensure that operations research is prioritized under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Pediatric Therapeutics: Drugs and Medical Devices
(Photo: Nigel Barker LLC)
Children need medical products that are properly designed, formulated, and manufactured specifically for their unique needs. However, the majority of pediatric medicines and medical devices used for children are not tested or approved for pediatric use.
Over the last decade, EGPAF has played a lead role in working with the U.S. Congress and Administration to enact and implement legislation to dramatically increase the number of drugs tested and labeled for children – the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act
(BPCA) and the Pediatric Research Equity Act
(PREA). Together, these laws compose a “carrot and stick” approach where manufacturers are both required and incentivized to conduct pediatric drug studies.
Building on the success of pediatric drug testing legislation, EGPAF also worked with the U.S. Congress, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other children’s health advocates to enact the Pediatric Medical Device Safety and Improvement Act, which improves pediatric medical device development in the U.S.