202401 Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS)

​Program seeks Council approval for an initiative titled “Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS)” which addresses critical scientific questions on the clinical course of perinatally acquired HIV in the U.S. in infants, children, adolescents and young adults, including the effects of HIV and antiretroviral treatment (ART)over the reproductive life course. 

Individuals with perinatally-acquired HIV (PHIV) live with a chronic illness and face the developmental consequences of prolonged HIV, associated co-morbidities, and long-term ART that can affect health, starting with the development of the adaptive immune system and over the life course into young adulthood. The number of children with PHIV globally and the increased availability of antiretrovirals for treatment and prevention in the face of limited clinical data on the long-term impact of HIV and its treatment in children and youth continue to give this cohort study critical importance both domestically and globally. Furthermore, as PHIV age into adulthood, there is a need to understand the complex health needs of reproductive-age young women living with HIV due to the effects of HIV treatment, pregnancy, post-partum outcomes, complications, co-morbidities and co-infections such as CMV.

[PHACS has been a successful and productive longitudinal cohort with co-funding and scientific collaboration from 10 NIH Institutes. PHACS currently comprises 21 U.S. clinical sites across 12 states and Puerto Rico, and 4 Cores (Scientific Administrative, Data Resources, Epidemiological and Statistical Methods, and Health Education and Community) and four primary studies. The study of young adults aged 18 years and older who were born to a mother living with HIV follows over 650 participants. The study to evaluate the effects of maternal exposures during pregnancy on health outcomes in their infants and children has enrolled over 3500 caregivers and 5000 children.]

The goal of this initiative is to support research on the developmental and clinical course of perinatally acquired HIV. Furthermore, the transition to adulthood of increasing numbers of youth with PHIV provides an important opportunity to understand a host of significant health outcomes, including reproduction, oral, cognitive, neurodevelopmental, mental health, substance use, behavioral, emotional, academic, and social outcomes.

This proposed conceptaligns with 5 NICHD Strategic Plan Themes and Cross-Cutting Topics.

This proposed concept aligns with the NIH Office of AIDS Research and MPIDB research priorities to a) reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS infections b) HIV-associated comorbidities, coinfections, and complications c) basic research: understanding the basic biology of HIV transmission and pathogenesis, and d) cross-cutting areas.

Program Contact

Denise Russo
Maternal and Pediatric Infectious Disease Branch (MPIDB)

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