We are proud to announce the 9th edition of the International Workshop on HIV Pediatrics 2017, scheduled on 21 and 22 July 2017, Paris, France.
There has been dramatic progress in prevention of mother-to child HIV transmission (PMTCT), with a reduction in the annual number of new infections among children globally by 56% since 2010 and 70% since 2000. Antiretroviral treatment during pregnancy, delivery and breast feeding is now routinely recommended for prevention of perinatal transmission and to treat maternal HIV infection. However, while we have had great success, the work is far from finished.
The number of new infections among women of reproductive age has not declined in the last 5 years, and implementation of PMTCT has been incomplete. Worldwide, 150,000 children were newly infected with HIV in 2015, and an estimated 1.8 million children were living with HIV. There are also increasing concerns about the long term impact of in utero and postnatal exposures to antiretrovirals for those children who escape HIV.
Currently an estimated 20% of all infants born in sub-Saharan Africa are HIV- and antiretroviral-exposed during pregnancy and the postnatal period.
Even with continued scale-up of PMTCT services, it is estimated that 2 million children will need antiretroviral treatment (ART) in 2020 – but children are substantially less likely than adults to be diagnosed, engaged in care, and to access life-saving ART.
Rapid growth and organ system maturation and the emotional and cognitive changes that occur across the developmental spectrum from infancy through adolescence complicate drug development and administration. Adherence outcomes in children have been less than robust, particularly among adolescents, and mental health and behavioral issues are emerging as critical to understand and address to ensure long term treatment success.
Adolescent HIV infections accounted for 30% of new infections in 2014, and occur disproportionately in girls and young women. Uptake of HIV testing among adolescents has remained low, programs struggle to reach and retain adolescents in care, and adherence to treatment has special challenges for this age group. It is estimated that there are approximately 2.1 million adolescents living with HIV, including close to a million children 10-14 years of age.
Research in pediatric, adolescent and maternal HIV infection is often a neglected area at major scientific HIV conferences, yet is critically needed to achieve an AIDS-free generation. Therefore, we have set up a highly focused International Workshop on HIV Pediatrics together with a group of experts in this field. This Workshop has been held annually in conjunction with the International AIDS Conference since 2009, bringing together between 150-250 global experts in pediatric, adolescent and maternal HIV research each year.
We invite you to join us at the HIV Pediatrics workshop 2017 and look forward to welcoming you in Paris.