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By Jill Wu | Woodruff Health Sciences Center | Aug. 20, 2021

Emory University and the Yerkes National Primate Research Center will share with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in a five-year, $27.6 million award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to accelerate the search for a cure for HIV in children and adolescents.

The Pediatric Adolescent Virus Elimination (PAVE) Collaboratory is using a multidisciplinary, multicultural and iterative approach to study pediatric HIV. The $5.7 million annual grant is part of the Martin Delaney Collaboratories (MDC) for HIV Cure Research program.

Co-principal investigator Ann Chahroudi, MD, PhD, is an infectious disease specialist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, director of the Center for Childhood Infections and Vaccines and associate professor of pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine. She is also a researcher with the Yerkes Microbiology and Immunology Division. The co-lead is Deborah Persaud, MD, a virologist and professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. PAVE will collaborate with 36 U.S. and internationally based co-investigators.

Around the globe, an estimated 1.7 million children under age 15 are living with HIV, and there are about five million adolescents and young adults aged 15-25 who have HIV. Additionally, about 150,000 children a year are born infected with HIV.

“Despite remarkable advances in the prevention and treatment of HIV, it remains an epidemic for millions of children and adolescents who live with the virus every day,” says Chahroudi. “The mission of our collaboratory is more than treating HIV in children, it’s to find a cure, which will improve millions of lives worldwide.”

The PAVE Collaboratory aims to identify and harness the unique immunovirological features of HIV infection in children and adolescents. Working with pediatric nonhuman primate models, PAVE team members will conduct preclinical safety and effectiveness research studies of novel treatments. The collaboratory will also focus on developing procedures, tools and techniques, including imaging, specifically for infants, children and adolescents.

Ann Chahroudi

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