The Paediatric European Network for Treatment of AIDS (PENTA), established in 1991, undertakes clinical trials (CTs) to address questions in HIV infected children where answers cannot be extrapolated from adults. The European Collaborative Study (ECS), a birth cohort study enrolling HIV-infected pregnant women with follow-up of their infected and uninfected infants, was set up in 1985. The PENTA network includes >80 centers in 16 countries and by Oct 2004, nearly 1000 children had been enrolled in 9 major CTs.
The ECS network includes >25 centers in 11 countries and included >6300 mother-child pairs by June 2005. PENTA aims to strengthen and extend the evidence base for the clinical management of HIV infected children through an integrated programme of CTs and studies. Workplans include design, co-ordination and analysis of CTs and substudies to optimize antiretroviral therapy (ART) use; to enhance knowledge of HIV pathogenesis in children and improve the standard of care for infected children across Europe by encouraging collaboration between paediatricians, and providing an accredited training programme.
ECS objectives include epidemiological investigation of HIV infection in pregnancy, assessment of safety of ART use; monitoring/quantification of MTCT rates, risk factors and interventions across Europe; assessment of disease progression and adverse events in infected children, particularly vertically-infected adolescents; examination of the health of uninfected children, given exposure to maternal HIV and ART in early life, and investigation of feasibility of long-term contact with ART-exposed uninfected children. PENTA+ECS will instigate paediatric pooled analyses where appropriate to address questions which are not and cannot be answered by individual CTs/cohorts. Both the PENTA and ECS networks will be strengthened and expanded over the next four years, particularly in Eastern Europe.
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Funding SchemeCA - Coordination action