Tulane Professor Leads Drug Resistance Study On Children Born With HIV

By Nayita Wilson

Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from Louisiana Weekly

(Trice Edney Wire) – Researchers have released preliminary findings of an ongoing study to determine the viral resistance of children infected with HIV at or around birth to antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, which are designed to “stop or suppress the affects” of such diseases.

Russell Van Dyke, M.D. is a professor of pediatric and infectious diseases at Tulane University as well as the principal investigator of the Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS), which is being conducted at 14 sites throughout the U.S.

The study began in 2007 with 446 children who were between the ages of 8 and 15. Of the children participating in the study, 230 underwent resistance testing.

Among the 230 children who underwent resistance testing, 170 showed some resistance, and females accounted for 55 percent of that population. Four percent was white, 72 percent was Black and 24 percent was Hispanic.

Of the 230 children who underwent resistance testing, 60 showed no resistance, and females accounted for 62 percent of that population. Seven percent was white, 65 percent was Black and 27 percent was Hispanic.

Van Dyke said that most children participating in the study have been treated with various types of medicines and treatments the larger portion of their lives, which could contribute to problems with their resistance.

Twenty children from the New Orleans area are participating in the study as well as a smaller group of non- infected children.

Contributor authors include: Kunjal Patel, Katherine Tassiopoulos and George R. Seage III, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston; Ron M. Kagan, Quest Diagnostics, Nichols Institute, San Juan Capistrano, Calif.; Shirley Traite, Center for Biostatistics in AIDS Research, Boston, Ma.; William A. Meyer III, Quest Diagnostics, Baltimore, Md.; Lorna M. Seybolt, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Department of Pediatrics, New Orleans; Sandra Burchet, Harvard Medical School, Department of Pediatrics, Boston; and Rohan Hazra Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Md.

The team has plans to release comprehensive findings within the next six months; however, the study will continue.

Van Dyke said, “The basic idea is to really define the outcome of perinatal HIV as they grow up.”