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World AIDS Day 2014: Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Celebrates
Accelerated Progress in Effort to End AIDS in Children
Washington, D.C.—Dec. 1, 2014— On World AIDS Day (Dec.1) 2014, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) celebrates new worldwide commitments to ending AIDS in children. Announcements today from the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) will accelerate efforts to improve access to HIV treatment and develop HIV medications formulated for the unique needs of children living with HIV, ultimately saving the lives of millions of HIV-positive children. These latest developments signal the start of a crucial new phase of innovation that will help close the gap between pediatric and adult treatment.
A new licensing agreement announced today between MPP and AbbVie will allow generic manufacturers access to AbbVie’s formulation of Lopinavir boosted with ritonavir (LPV/r) for children. LPV/r is part of the World Health Organization (WHO)’s recommended first-line treatment for children younger than 3 and second-line treatment for older children. Generic formulations of LPV/r can now be made available in a large number of low- and middle- income countries, including those countries that account for 99 percent of all children living with HIV.
With this agreement, all of the drugs used in WHO’s recommended first-line treatment for children younger than 3 are either under licensing agreement with MPP or no longer protected by a patent.
Also today during the White House’s annual World AIDS Day event, PEPFAR announced a new Global Pediatric Antiretroviral (ARV) Commitment-to-Action. Under this new initiative, PEPFAR, in partnership with the Pediatric HIV Treatment Initiative (PHTI), and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (Global Fund) will bring together leading organizations to accelerate the development of new, high-priority pediatric ARV co-formulations for first- and second-line treatment by 2017.
“Thirty years into the epidemic there are still too few effective ARV formulations for children,” said Charles Lyons, EGPAF president and CEO. “We applaud today’s announcements from MPP and AbbVie and from PEPFAR, which mark significant milestones in the effort to improve formulations and ensure that children living with HIV have access to safe and effective medications.”
Currently 3.2 million children are living with HIV, but only one-quarter of them have access to lifesaving antiretroviral therapy (ART). Effective and easy-to-use medicines tailored for children living with HIV are urgently needed to close this treatment gap. Greater access to these medicines will reduce illness and death related to pediatric HIV and AIDS. Without treatment, half of all children living with HIV will die before age 2 and 80 percent won’t survive past their fifth birthday. Today’s announcements will help improve efforts to increase access to pediatric HIV treatment and ensure children are not left behind in the effort to end the AIDS epidemic.
The Global Pediatric ARV Commitment to Action and the new licensing agreement between MPP and AbbVie align with the goals of the recently launched Accelerating Children’s HIV/AIDS Treatment (ACT) Initiative, in which PEPFAR, in partnership with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), will expand access to treatment to 300,000 additional children across 10 sub-Saharan countries – Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe – and thus further incentivize the development, production, and distribution of optimal formulations.
Also on World AIDS Day 2014, EGPAF’s longtime partner, Jewelers for Children, has pledged to match every dollar donated to EGPAF to support its lifesaving work and make the dream of an AIDS-free generation a reality. To learn more, visit www.pedaids.org/WAD2014.
About the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF):
EGPAF is the global leader in the fight against pediatric HIV/ AIDS, and has reached 20 million women with services to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. It currently supports more than 7,000 health facilities and works in 15 countries to implement prevention, care, and treatment services; to further advance innovative research; and to execute global advocacy activities that bring dramatic change to the lives of millions of women, children, and families worldwide. For more information, visit www.pedaids.org.