There are numerous pressing research issues that may hold the keys to uncovering new means of preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV -- and to eliminating pediatric AIDS once and for all. To this end, EGPAF's research priorities include the following areas:
Preventing HIV Transmission from Mother to Child & Vaccines
EGPAF continues to sponsor research that addresses the “whys and whats” of HIV transmission from mother to child. For instance: Why don't all HIV-exposed babies become infected? What protects babies who breastfeed from their HIV-positive mothers?
EGPAF also is also committed to research that will lead to an HIV vaccine suitable for use in infants and children. The development of a preventive vaccine that protects infants from HIV infection would have a profound and dramatic effect on the current state of the pandemic. A successful vaccine could set the stage for lifelong protection for millions of children around the world, helping create the first generation free of HIV.
EGPAF’s pediatric HIV vaccine research initiative is focused on the following areas:
- Understanding the mechanism of mother-to-child transmission of HIV during the breastfeeding period;
- Understanding pediatric immune responses to HIV;
- Identifying and evaluating potential HIV vaccine candidates for pediatric populations; and
- Overcoming obstacles to conducting clinical trials in infants.
Optimizing Delivery of Health Care Services
EGPAF conducts operations research to evaluate the effectiveness of our programs under real-world conditions, while ensuring that HIV prevention, care, and treatment services are reaching as many women, children, and families as possible. EGPAF's operations research efforts specifically focus on:
- Developing better ways to provide long-term health care for mothers and children living with HIV;
- Developing effective and replicable PMTCT service delivery models; and
- Assessing ways to improve cost-effectiveness of HIV-related health service delivery.
Collaborating with Scientists Worldwide
EGPAF recognized long ago that to continue answering questions about pediatric AIDS and the transmission of HIV from mother to child, it is essential to expand the global pool of basic, clinical, and operations research scientists with whom we collaborate. For this reason, EGPAF has established several prestigious research award programs to fund up-and-coming scientists as well as established leaders in the fight against pediatric HIV/AIDS.