NICHD is one of several NIH institutes and other federal entities that supports and conducts research on HIV/AIDS. The institute has a particular focus on infants, children, adolescents, and women, including pregnant women. NICHD's portfolio covers HIV pathogenesis, epidemiology and demographics, prevention, and treatment. Co-occurring diseases are also included in NICHD's HIV/AIDS research interests. The institute supports professional training and the development of research infrastructure to facilitate research on HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
NICHD supports and conducts research on a wide range of HIV topics, including the pathogenesis, epidemiology and demographics, prevention, and treatment of HIV and co-occurring infections. Specific research focuses include the following:
- Understanding the contexts (including social, institutional, economic, cultural, and geographic), patterns, and impact of sexual behavior on HIV transmission, testing, and treatment in populations.
- Uncovering factors that influence decisions and behaviors that affect HIV risk. Information about the sources of vulnerability to infection is important to inform interventions in diverse populations.
- Conducting basic research to elucidate the biological and molecular mechanisms of HIV transmission, replication, and reservoirs, particularly those unique to pregnant women, fetuses, infants, children, and adolescents. Knowledge of cellular- and molecular-level pathways that are involved in HIV disease may lead to new preventive or therapeutic interventions.
- Developing and evaluating HIV prevention and treatment strategies specifically for pregnant women, infants, children, and adolescents, including a special focus on prevention of perinatal transmission. These strategies may include nutritional, social, behavioral, pharmacological, immunological, or other interventions. New strategies are needed to address adherence to anti-HIV medications, co-infections, side effects of HIV treatment, and other complications or consequences of HIV, such as social consequences.
- Evaluating diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic strategies for co-infections that are common in women, infants, children, and adolescents with HIV, particularly in resource-limited countries. These co-infections include tuberculosis, hepatitis, and malaria.
- Understanding the impact of HIV and HIV treatment on women and children globally. This includes the effects on pregnancy, fetal development, child development (including growth, sexual maturation, metabolism, socialization, and neurology), and gender-specific aspects of HIV (such as interaction between HIV and female hormones throughout the lifespan, effects on bone, and cervical or breast disease or cancer).
- Characterizing the impacts of pregnancy and childhood development on HIV therapies, including determination of appropriate drug formulations and dosing regimens for these populations.
- Understanding anti-HIV drug toxicity in pregnancy, in utero, and in infancy. This includes determining the long-term effects of early antiretroviral exposure on all aspects of child development, including effects of in utero anti-HIV drug exposure on children exposed to HIV who do not acquire the virus.
- Determining the safety and efficacy of contraceptives and infertility treatments in women with HIV.
- Developing and improving methods for studying sexual behavior, including reliable and unbiased measures, data collection methods that improve validity of self-reports, and methods for validation of self-report data.
- Developing capacity for HIV/AIDS research in resource-limited nations through training and improved infrastructure.
- Improving diagnosis and monitoring of perinatal and pediatric HIV infection and co-infections, especially through assays and strategies that are appropriate for use in developing nations.
NICHD components support and/or conduct research on the following aspects of HIV/AIDS.
Institute Activities and Advances
- Basic Research on HIV
- Behavioral Health Aspects of HIV
- Demographics of HIV & Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
- Preventing Perinatal Transmission of HIV
- Effects of Antiretroviral Drugs on Pregnancy & Development
- HIV in Women
- HIV in Adolescents
- HIV in Children
- Development of HIV Therapeutic and Preventive Strategies
- Nutrition & HIV
- Building Capacity for HIV Research
Basic Research on HIV
Both extramural and intramural entities within NICHD are involved in basic research related to HIV/AIDS.
Hormones & HIV
The effect of endogenous and exogenous steroid hormones on risk of HIV acquisition, transmission, and disease progression is unknown. The Contraception Research Branch (CRB) and the Maternal and Pediatric Infectious Disease Branch (MPIDB) both fund extramural research on this topic.
The HIV Genome
In NICHD's intramural program, three sections investigate aspects of HIV genome replication:
- Reverse transcription. The goal of the Section on Viral Gene Regulation, part of the Division of Developmental Biology within the NICHD Division of Intramural Research (DIR), is to define the molecular mechanisms responsible for the replication of HIV and related mammalian retroviruses and to investigate the role of host proteins that block virus infection. These studies help to identify new targets for anti-HIV therapy and are critical for developing novel strategies to combat the HIV epidemic. Research is currently focused on several broad areas of interest:
- Reverse transcription and the critical role of the HIV-1 nucleocapsid protein in this process;
- Molecular characterization, biological activity, and structure of human defense proteins APOBEC3G and APOBEC3A, which are cytidine deaminases that inhibit HIV-1 replication; and
- Structure-function analysis of the HIV-1 capsid protein and its essential role in proper assembly of HIV-1 particles and the ability of virions to undergo reverse transcription.
- RNA/DNA hybrids. The research of the Section on Formation of RNA in the DIR Genomics & Basic Mechanisms of Growth & Development Affinity Group investigates the formation and resolution of RNA/DNA hybrids, which are essential intermediates in the replication of HIV's genome. In addition to their presence in HIV replication, RNA/DNA hybrids are omnipresent intermediates in normal DNA replication and RNA synthesis but can cause human diseases and disorders when mishandled.
- Genomic integration. The Section on Eukaryotic Transposable Elements of the Cell Regulation and Development Affinity Group uses a retrotransposon in the fission yeast genome as a model for understanding how retroviruses like HIV insert their genetic material into the host cell genome. In particular, the section's research aims to determine the viral genome's mechanisms of selecting its target integration sites.
Other HIV Basic Biology
Three other intramural entities study aspects of HIV basic biology:
- Co-pathogens. The Section on Intercellular Interactions in the DIR Maternal-Fetal Medicine & Translational Imaging Affinity Group focuses on understanding the pathogenesis of HIV in human tissues, particularly the virus' interactions with copathogens and these interactions' effects on determining the mechanisms of HIV-1 transmission and the course of HIV infection. In 2011, research conducted by this section and non-NIH collaborators discovered the mechanism behind the anti-HIV drug tenofovir's activity against genital herpes in vaginal gel formulation. The research found that this surprise effect, uncovered in a clinical trial earlier that year, is due to the drug's inhibition of a viral DNA synthesis. This basic research finding helped illuminate new avenues of research on drugs with dual activity against both genital herpes and HIV.
- Immune system proteins. Another key discovery by the Section on Intercellular Interactions involved an immune system protein normally found in semen that occurs in high levels in the semen of men with HIV. Researchers observed that HIV-infected T cells targeted by the protein lived longer and continued to make more of the virus.
- CD4 downregulation. The Section on Intracellular Protein Trafficking in the DIR Cell and Structural Biology Affinity Group investigates the molecular mechanisms by which transmembrane proteins are sorted to intracellular compartments. One current project focuses on the downregulation of the CD4 protein in viral host cells, T cells, and macrophages by two HIV-1 proteins, Nef and Vpu. Knowledge of these pathways could provide new avenues for therapeutic intervention.
Behavioral Health Aspects of HIV
The Population Dynamics Branch (PDB) is the principal NICHD entity supporting research on behavioral and other aspects of HIV. It also supports the development and improvement of methods for studying sexual behavior. The branch funds extramural research investigating the interrelationships among social, institutional, economic, and cultural contexts and sexual behavior. It also supports efforts to develop and evaluate behavioral interventions that are relevant within these contexts.
Branch-supported research includes studies of the onset and trajectories of sexual activity, contraceptive use, and sexual partnerships and research on partnership dynamics and characteristics. The branch also is interested in studies of the consequences of sexual behaviors and related aspects of reproductive health for individual well-being; interpersonal relationships; reproductive outcomes; and the well-being of families, communities, and society.
For example, PDB supports studies testing the efficacy of individual-level and classroom interventions for promoting abstinence and risk-reduction behavior, including condom use and avoidance of concurrent partners, among adolescents and young adults. One effort tested Reach for Health, a school-based intervention that blended community service requirements with a sex education curriculum. The program achieved a significant and long-lasting delay in sexual activity among inner-city middle school children.
Other activities include providing life skills to young women with HIV in Zimbabwe, studying HIV testing among African American men, examining how churches respond to HIV, exploring how caregiver training can improve brain development for children of parents with HIV, and learning how women and couples balance their desires for children with their desires to avoid HIV transmission.
Demographics of HIV and Other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
PDB is the primary source of NICHD support for research on the demographics of HIV, supporting studies of the social, demographic, economic, or other structural impacts of HIV/STIs in populations. The branch also supports research on the implications of patterns of sexual behavior, geographical mobility, testing, and treatment in a population for the spread of HIV and other STIs.
The need to inform HIV prevention efforts has been a strong motivator for research on the demographics of sexual behavior. Examples of branch topics of interest include studies on the acceptability of microbicides, the role of religious organizations in HIV prevention, the relationship between individuals’ and couples’ desires to prevent disease transmission while being able to have the number of children they want, the effect of increased access to testing and antiretroviral therapy on HIV transmission rates, the influence of drugs and alcohol on mortality rates among different populations with HIV, and social networks and HIV prevention.
Preventing Perinatal Transmission of HIV
MPIDB sponsors research to understand and prevent perinatal transmission of HIV. The branch's portfolio includes research on the acquisition of HIV through in utero exposure, intrapartum exposure, and postnatal exposure via breast milk. Its prevention research includes the use of antiretroviral drugs or use of HIV passive or active immunization for prevention of perinatal transmission, as well as studies to evaluate optimal ways to implement proven interventions in developing countries.
Since 1990, MPIDB has contributed to a series of research advances that have drastically reduced rates of perinatal transmission of HIV, especially in the United States. MPIDB and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) co-funded the NICHD/HPTN 040 clinical trial, which found in 2011 that a multi-drug regimen given to the newborns of women with HIV who had not received antiretrovirals before labor reduced the infants' risk of HIV acquisition.
Although early diagnosis and treatment during pregnancy is ideal, many pregnant women with HIV around the world still do not receive this level of care. The Promoting Maternal-Infant Survival Everywhere (PROMISE) study, co-funded by the MPIDB and NIAID through their International Maternal, Pediatric, Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT) Network, identified a superior antiretroviral drug regimen for preventing perinatal HIV transmission.
Effects of Antiretroviral Drugs on Pregnancy and Development
MPIDB supports research on the pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics and safety of antiretroviral drugs in pregnancy. The branch also supports research investigating the impact of HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy on child development, including growth, sexual maturation, metabolism, socialization, neurodevelopment, and neurologic function. Additional research focuses include drug toxicity in pregnant women and the effects of antiretroviral drugs on the fetus and infant, especially long-term effects.
An example of MPIDB's interest in this area is its Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS). In 2012, study researchers found that children who were exposed to HIV in the womb, even those who did not acquire the virus, were at higher risk of a language delay compared with other children. This study, co-funded by seven other NIH institutes and offices, was established in 2005 to evaluate the long-term safety of fetal and infant exposure to prophylactic antiretroviral drugs and the effects of perinatally acquired HIV in adolescents. These results suggest the need for early language interventions for children exposed prenatally to HIV. Other studies found an increased risk of microcephaly, or small head size, in infants of mothers who took the HIV drug efavirenz while they were pregnant; a higher risk of neural tube defects for the infants of mothers on HIV therapies containing dolutegravir; and a higher risk of poor health outcomes for infants whose mothers had HIV and were taking tuberculosis-preventing medication while pregnant. The Obstetric and Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics Branch also supports research in the area of pediatric and obstetric drugs.
HIV in Women
MPIDB supports research on the unique characteristics and impacts of immune function, immune markers, HIV infection, and co-infections in pregnant and other women. Similarly, CRB supports research into the effects of female genital biology and sex hormones on the transmission, acquisition, and progression of HIV and other STIs. One 2019 study investigated the effects of pregnancy on viral load in young women who had been born with HIV. It found that although women with perinatal HIV seem to have lower viral load during pregnancy, this improvement does not last after giving birth.
MPIDB and several other branches support the development of prophylactic, diagnostic, and therapeutic strategies for HIV that are targeted to the unique biology and social contexts of women, including pregnant women. These strategies may be pharmaceutical, behavioral, nutritional, or in other domains relevant to individual branch interests.
Additionally, MPIDB supports studies evaluating the effects of HIV and its therapies on women throughout the lifespan. For example, MPIDB co-funded with NIAID the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), which was established in 1993 to investigate the impact of HIV on women in the United States. The WIHS cohort of women with and at risk of HIV has provided critical information on the natural history of HIV infection in women, including predictors of disease progression and death, the prevalence and incidence of genital neoplasia and its relationship to human papillomavirus infection, rates and complications of other co-infections such as hepatitis C virus, response to and complications of antiretroviral therapy, and rates of co-morbidities such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancers. In 2019, the WIHS cohort was combined with the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), a 30-year study of HIV in gay and bisexual men, to form the MACS/WIHS Combined Cohort Study (MACS/WIHS-CCS) under the leadership of NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Contraception and fertility are other major areas of NICHD-funded research relevant to women and HIV. MPIDB supports research on the interactions between hormonal contraceptives and antiretroviral drugs, evaluating both the effect of the antiretroviral drug on the contraceptive and the effect of the contraceptive on antiretroviral drug levels. CRB also supports studies of the safety and efficacy of contraceptives and infertility treatments in women with HIV.
PDB also is involved in studies of contraception and HIV prevention. Its portfolio includes studies of the interrelationships among pregnancy, pregnancy desires, pregnancy prevention, and HIV/STI prevention, as well as the development of interventions based on an understanding of these relationships. For example, one study in tissue cultures found that using the injectable contraceptive depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate may increase a person’s risk of contracting HIV.
HIV in Adolescents
MPIDB sponsors a spectrum of research aimed at understanding the transmission dynamics, course of infection, prevention, and management of HIV in youth. Areas of interest include therapy adherence; development of vaccines and other methods, such as use of pre-exposure prophylaxis, to prevent transmission; and strategies for managing HIV disease and secondary infections. One study looked at the incidence of heart and lung issues in South African teens with and without perinatal HIV. Teens in the study seemed to have a higher-than-average likelihood of cardiopulmonary disease—whether they had HIV or not. The researchers concluded that further study is needed to understand why heart and lung issues appear to be more common in this population, regardless of HIV status. Another study assessed the efficacy and viability of two treatment strategies—antiretroviral (ART) monotherapy and planned treatment interruption—for Asian adolescents and teens with perinatal HIV compared to continuous combination ART therapy. ART monotherapy and treatment interruption may be options for adolescents with perinatal HIV who have treatment fatigue or challenges with medication adherence or who lack adequate medical care. However, the study found that ART monotherapy and treatment interruption strategies were not adequate for controlling viral load or preventing immunologic events compared to continuous ART combination therapy, suggesting that youths need more support for medication adherence and accessing regular treatment.
PDB is focused on behavioral aspects of HIV/AIDS in adolescents, examining the factors that influence adolescents' propensity for risk behaviors and developing and evaluating interventions tailored toward adolescents.
The Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions (ATN), funded by MPIDB, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is an example of NICHD's focus on HIV in adolescents. Through a collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ATN is carrying out the Strategic Multisite Initiative for the Identification, Linkage, and Engagement in Care of Youth with Undiagnosed HIV Infection (SMILE in CARING for YOUTH). Begun in 2009, SMILE in CARING for YOUTH links ATN's research and treatment network with CDC-funded HIV counseling and testing programs for adolescents and young adults at high risk for HIV. The program is testing and improving methods to link young people with HIV to treatment services and improve treatment compliance, and it is providing opportunities for these youths to participate in clinical trials. One ATN study found that, even with the same level of enrollment in medical care, youth with HIV had higher viral loads than adults. This finding underscores the importance of tailoring HIV treatments to adolescents.
The Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS), led by MPIDB in collaboration with eight co-funding institutes, examines trends in health and behavior of youth who acquired HIV in infancy and who are reaching adolescence and young adulthood. PHACS has helped show how these youth with lifelong HIV face special challenges for themselves and their partners as they become sexually active.
HIV in Children
MPIDB is engaged in research to understand and address the unique characteristics of HIV and AIDS and their treatments in children. An example of MPIDB's interest in this area is its Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS), which found in a 2011 study that hypercholesterolemia is a common side effect of drug therapy in children with HIV. The study tracked cholesterol and its treatment in more than 2,500 children with HIV for 2 years, finding that most children's cholesterol did not decrease over time and that few received drug treatment that could lower their cholesterol. A 2019 study with PHACS data found that switching HIV treatments could help improve children’s cholesterol levels. These findings highlight the need for treatment guidelines for hypercholesterolemia in children with HIV.
In 2013, NIH-supported researchers reported that a 2-year-old child who was born with HIV and was treated starting in the first few days of life no longer had detectable levels of the virus despite not taking HIV medication for 10 months. This appeared to be the first well-documented case of a child functionally cured of HIV. The child continued to be in remission until 2014, when researchers announced that the child had detectable levels of HIV. Although this was an unfortunate development, this case study illuminated key research questions and showed that periods of HIV quiescence in the absence of treatment may be possible.
MPIDB also funds research related to pediatric diagnosis and monitoring assays and strategies for HIV and associated co-infections, such as tuberculosis, relevant to developing countries. An example of MPIDB-funded research in this area is a 2021 study of a blood test for tuberculosis in infants exposed to HIV. The study found that the blood test provides consistent, accurate, fast results in infants with and without HIV.
In addition to funding individual research studies, MPIDB provides support to the NIAID-funded International Epidemiologic Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA) to include children in its cohorts. IeDEA's mission is to combine data from multiple research cohorts around the world to examine specific questions about HIV/AIDS that require large data sets.
Development of HIV Therapeutic and Preventive Strategies
A large portion of the MPIDB portfolio supports the identification and evaluation of therapies for children, youth, and pregnant women with HIV. This includes treatment and prevention of co-infections and other complications of HIV and antiretroviral therapy. The branch also is involved in the development of vaccines and other methods for the prevention of HIV transmission among adolescents and between mother and child.
ATN, the NICHD Domestic and International Pediatric and Maternal HIV Clinical Trials Network, and IMPAACT are heavily involved in this area. In 2012, ATN and IMPAACT researchers published the finding that vitamin D may improve bone health in adolescents on the common anti-HIV drug tenofovir. Due to hormonal effects of tenofovir therapy, bone density loss is a common side effect. This discovery may provide a low-cost method to increase the long-term health and well-being of youth with HIV.
IMPAACT research also has led to several advances in treating infants with HIV. A study published in 2010 showed that initial therapy with a three-drug regimen including the protease inhibitor lopinavir/ritonavir was more effective than a three-drug regimen containing nevirapine for treating infants who acquired HIV despite being exposed to nevirapine at birth. These findings led to changes in the World Health Organization (WHO) treatment guidelines, Antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access - recommendations for a public health approach, 2010 revision (PDF 1.9 MB). Later in 2010, the IMPAACT researchers reported that a lopinavir/ritonavir-based regimen was more effective than a nevirapine-based regimen for treating infants with HIV even when the child had not been exposed to nevirapine at birth.
In addition to MPIDB, CRB funds the development and evaluation of anti-HIV spermicidal microbicides as part of its contraception research.
The PROMISE (Promoting Maternal-Infant Survival Everywhere) study, co-funded by MPIDB and NIAID and conducted by IMPAACT, found that three-drug maternal antiretroviral therapy during breastfeeding essentially eliminates HIV transmission to infants through breast milk.
Nutrition & HIV
The Pediatric Growth and Nutrition Branch (PGNB) supports research and research training in nutritional science, childhood antecedents of adult disease, developmental endocrinology, developmental neuroendocrinology, and physical growth and body composition. One major focus of the branch's research support is global health and nutrition, particularly the role of nutrition in the prevention, care, and treatment of HIV/AIDS. It also supports research on the effect of HIV on the immune function of the gut.
Proper feeding of infants exposed to HIV is a great concern in developing nations. Current policies call for early exclusive breastfeeding followed by rapid weaning to limit exposure to HIV. PGNB-supported investigators have developed a method to reduce transmission by heat-treating expressed milk. The process produced minimal changes in breast milk composition and was successfully implemented in rural settings with high HIV prevalence. This work represents the importance of translational science in providing infants with a safe source of nutrition.
One of the great successes in HIV research has been the development of highly effective interventions to prevent perinatal HIV transmission.
Clinical trials have identified simple, inexpensive, effective prevention strategies that are feasible for resource-limited settings, including interventions to reduce HIV transmission through breastfeeding.
Although great strides have been made in implementing such programs in low- and middle-income countries, there remain significant bottlenecks and challenges in developing and carrying out prevention programs in these settings. Implementation science projects examine and develop new ways to improve how we put proven interventions into practice.
In 2012, MPIDB, with co-funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), funded nine grants to assess optimal ways to implement interventions to prevent perinatal HIV transmission in developing countries. MPIDB is working with the Fogarty International Center to bring these international researchers together with developing country implementers and public health professionals to share information about the studies and facilitate rapid implementation of successful projects. Read more about the Implementation Science Project.
Building Capacity for HIV/AIDS Research
Both PDB and MPIDB are involved in building HIV research capacity through training and infrastructure development in the African, Asian, and Latin American nations most affected by the disease.
Investigators with the MPIDB-funded NICHD International Site Development Initiative (NISDI) determined distinct viral load thresholds in children receiving therapy that identify children at increased risk of developing HIV-related clinical illnesses despite treatment.
A separate study by NISDI Brazilian scientists evaluated adherence to antiretroviral therapy during pregnancy and postpartum, finding that adherence to treatment significantly decreased after delivery, indicating a need for additional support to women postpartum.
Other Activities and Advances
To achieve its goals for HIV/AIDS research, NICHD supports a variety of research networks and other activities. Some are managed through the NICHD components listed above; others are part of NIH-wide or collaborative efforts in which NICHD participates. They include the following:
- The Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions (ATN) conducts research on methods to improve the health and well-being of young people with or at risk for HIV, including studies of medicines and strategies to prevent and treat HIV, among other related topics.
- The Centers for AIDS Research provide administrative and shared research support to enhance and coordinate high-quality HIV research projects. The centers provide core facilities and emphasize the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in HIV research.
- The NICHD Domestic and International Pediatric and Maternal HIV and Other High-Priority Infectious Diseases Clinical Studies Network conducts domestic and international clinical trials of treatment for HIV and associated co-infections. The network also studies complications of HIV and its treatment in pregnant women, infants, children, and adolescents, and prevention of perinatal HIV transmission.
- The IeDEA consortium consists of regional sites collecting and defining key variables, harmonizing data, and implementing methodology to generate large data sets to address high-priority research questions and streamline HIV/AIDS research. NICHD funds the pediatric component of IeDEA.
- The IMPAACT Network conducts clinical trials in collaboration with the NICHD Network and develops and tests methods to prevent HIV transmission and treat HIV in pregnant women, infants, children, and teens.
- The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) is a longitudinal effort to examine a nationally representative sample of adolescents' and young adults' social contexts—including families, friends, peers, schools, neighborhoods, and communities—and their effects on their health and risk behaviors.
- The Obstetric-Fetal Pharmacology Research Centers (OPRC) Network supports research centers with pharmacological, clinical, and basic components in an effort to advance testing of therapeutic drugs during pregnancy.
- Through the Global Partnerships for Social Science and Behavioral Research on HIV/AIDS program, NICHD and two other NIH Institutes funded 10 partnerships of U.S.-based and African institutions to increase research capacity at the African institution. The second round of partnerships expanded to institutions in Asia and Russia.
- The PHACS network studies the long-term safety of anti-HIV drugs in fetuses and infants and the impact of HIV infection and treatment on children and teens who acquired the virus before, during, or shortly after birth.
- The MACS/WIHS-CCS continues to follow the WIHS cohort, the largest and longest ongoing U.S. study of women with HIV in the United States. This study examines the unique ways HIV/AIDS and HIV treatments affect women, the relationships between HIV/AIDS and other diseases in women, and the impact of hormones on HIV disease.
- In addition, staff in MPIDB are active in the following HIV/AIDS-related activities:
- The NICHD AIDS Coordinating Committee (managed by the Office of Global Health).
- Several PEPFAR committees, including the PEPFAR Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission/Pediatric Working Group, the PEPFAR Tuberculosis Working Group, the PEPFAR Public Health Evaluation Subgroup, and the Public-Private Partnership for Pediatric Antiretroviral Drugs Group.
- Consultation with the WHO in their development of guidelines for treatment of children with HIV and prevention of perinatal transmission in developing countries.
- The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Panel on Pediatric Antiretroviral Therapy and Management Guidelines, the HHS Panel on Treatment of Pregnant Women with HIV Infection and Prevention of Perinatal Transmission, and the HHS Guidelines for Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Exposed and HIV-Infected Children. MPIDB staff serve as executive secretaries to these panels that develop U.S. guidelines for treatment of HIV and co-infections in children and for prevention of perinatal transmission. Additionally, two staff members serve on the HHS Panel on Antiretroviral Therapy in Adults and Adolescents.
- NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR) committees, including the Therapeutics Research Planning Committee; the Natural History and Epidemiology Research Planning Committee; the Etiology and Pathogenesis Research Planning Committee; the Microbicides Research Planning Committee; the Social and Behavioral Science Planning Committee; the International Research Planning Committee; the Racial and Ethnic Minority Committee; the Women and Girls Committee; the Training, Infrastructure, and Capacity Building Committee; and the Vaccine Research Planning Committee. Staff are also involved with India -U.S. and Russia-U.S. joint working groups on HIV/AIDS research.
- The Subgroup on Childhood Tuberculosis (TB) of the DOTS Expansion Working Group of the Global Stop TB Partnership. MPIDB staff serve as a consultants and members of the sub-group.
- The CDC Elimination of Pediatric HIV in U.S. Stakeholders Group. MPIDB staff are members of this group, which evaluates ways to eliminate new pediatric HIV cases in the United States.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Pediatric AIDS and American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology HIV Expert Work Group. MPIDB staff are members of these professional society committees that address HIV in children and women.