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International project seeks to eliminate HIV in kids

New strategies to be tested at OHSU’s Oregon National Primate Research Center
Intercultural little friends in costumes sitting on staircase in front of camera while playing together in children room
Oregon Health & Science University is part of collaborative international effort that aims to eliminate the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, in infected youth. (Getty Images)

Oregon Health & Science University is part of a collaborative international effort to eliminate the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, in infected youth.

The Pediatric Adolescent Virus Elimination Collaboratory will receive a total of up to $27.6 million over five years, the National Institutes of Health announced. The group plans to develop and test new early-intervention strategies that are designed to provide children remission and a cure from HIV without relying on the antiretroviral therapies that are currently used to treat both children and adults living with HIV.

The potential effectiveness of such strategies will initially be evaluated using the monkey form of HIV in nonhuman primate newborns at OHSU’s Oregon National Primate Research Center and at Emory University’s Yerkes National Primate Research Center. The collaboration will also focus on developing procedures, tools and techniques, such as imaging, that are specifically designed for infants, children and adolescents living with HIV.

The group’s research is led by Deborah Persaud, M.D., a professor pediatrics at John Hopkins University, and Ann Chahroudi, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of pediatrics at Emory University, and involves 14 institutions across the globe.

portrait of Nancy L. Haigwood, Ph.D., a mature adult in glasses
Nancy L. Haigwood, Ph.D.

OHSU’s contributions to the project will be led by Nancy Haigwood, Ph.D., director and professor at OHSU’s Oregon National Primate Research Center, along with Ann J. Hessell, Ph.D., a research associate professor at the Oregon National Primate Center, and Jeremy Smedley, D.V.M., M.S., a professor and head of infectious disease resources at the Oregon National Primate Research Center.

The National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also known as NIAID, launched the Martin Delaney Collaboratories in 2010 to honor the late HIV/AIDS activist. In addition to NIAID, three other NIH institutes help fund the program: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute of Mental Health.

More information about this and other new pediatric HIV research funded by the National Institutes of Health is available in announcements from the NIH and Emory University.

This research is supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (grant 1 UM1 AI164566-01).

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