Better HIV treatment for infants and young children

Beatrice gives her son, Peace Comfort, 21 months old, his medication at their home in Nairobi, Kenya (Image: Mariella Furrer/DNDi)

Developing HIV treatments that are properly dosed, more palatable and better adapted to children’s needs.

Challenges

Only 49 percent of children living with HIV received antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 2015.
(Reference: UNAIDS, Prevention Gap Report Geneva, Switzerland, 2016)
Existing paediatric HIV drugs taste bad, are difficult to administer, require refrigeration, and are unsuitable for children suffering from both HIV and tuberculosis.

Solutions

Unitaid and DNDi launched this project to replace existing paediatric HIV formulations with treatments that are properly dosed, more palatable, easy to store, and better adapted to children’s needs.
The project will promote in-country adoption of the new drugs to create and sustain demand for them. It aims to ensure that these easy-to-use formulations are affordable and can be rapidly introduced throughout high-burden HIV countries.

Progress so far

In 2015, DNDi’s paediatric team identified promising lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) formulations for further development. The optimal 4-in-1 fixed-dose combinations of paediatric treatments could be available by the end of 2018.
As of June 2016, 126 children had been enrolled in an implementation study for an improved oral pellet formulation of the WHO-recommended treatment, an important step towards introducing the taste-masked 4-in-1 formulations.

The impact we are seeking

The project aims to increase access to optimal ART for children under three years of age, which is expected to improve coverage and adherence, and eventually to reduce child mortality.



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