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Baylor Pediatric AIDS Program Increases Number of Children it Provides With Access to Antiretrovirals by One-Third

March 13, 2007

The Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative's Pediatric AIDS Corps in its first sixth months has increased the number of children it provides with access to antiretroviral drugs by more than one-third, the Houston Chronicle reports. The AIDS Corps to date has provided 12,633 HIV-positive children, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, with access to antiretroviral treatment, up from 9,000 when the program started in August 2006 (Hopper, Houston Chronicle, 3/12). The AIDS Corps is a program of the Baylor College of Medicine and Bristol-Myers Squibb launched in June 2005 that plans to send as many as 250 physicians to Africa for a two-year program to train local health care workers and treat HIV-positive children. BIPAI has enrolled thousands of children in HIV/AIDS treatment programs in six African countries. BIPAI currently treats HIV-positive children in African nations, China, Mexico and Romania and trains health professionals worldwide (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/11/06). During the past eight months, new satellite clinics staffed with AIDS Corps physicians in African countries -- including Uganda, Lesotho, Swaziland and Malawi -- have doubled the number of Baylor-run sites where African children can access HIV/AIDS diagnostics, treatment and care. Baylor expects to provide about 40,000 children with HIV/AIDS care by the end of the year, the Chronicle reports. Thirty-four of the original 52 AIDS Corps doctors will remain with the program this year, and 21 new physicians have been selected. According to the Chronicle, Harvard University, UNICEF and the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief are employing or hope to borrow some of the physicians to implement their own initiatives (Houston Chronicle, 3/12).

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