UCLA lab awarded $25M federal grant to combat HIV in kids, pregnant women

UCLA's IMPAACT Network researches HIV/AIDS treatments for pregnant women, infants, children and adolescents.
LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- A $25 million grant has been awarded to a UCLA laboratory working to develop innovative strategies to end HIV among infants, children, adolescents and pregnant women, the university announced Tuesday.

The National Institutes of Health awarded the grant to the UCLA branch of the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Network, commonly called the IMPAACT Network.

The IMPAACT Network evaluates clinical trials of therapies that address mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS and assess HIV therapies for infants, children, adolescents and pregnant women and the associated symptoms that they suffer.

IMPAACT's work has developed effective HIV therapies for those vulnerable populations and influenced the standard of care for patients, according to UCLA.

The $25 million grant will be used to support the IMPAACT Network's research by overseeing standard and cutting-edge testing; develop new tests to resolve questions that emerge during clinical trials; and coordinate laboratory operations, which includes management, evaluation and educational and training programs.

"I am honored to contribute to IMPAACT's efforts to provide pregnant women, infants, children and adolescents with state-of-the-art HIV therapies,'' said Dr. Grace Aldrovandi, chief of infectious diseases at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital and a professor of pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "I hope we will be able to cure children and adolescents of HIV in the near future.''

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