Paediatric AIDS Drug Table
Across the globe last year, 700,000 children were newly infected with HIV – half a million of them live in Africa, compared to only 250 in Europe and North America. But there are no affordable AIDS tests that work in babies or medicines that kids can take easily. And without treatment, half of babies born with HIV in poor countries die before their second birthday. But because developing AIDS drugs for poor kids is not profitable, many companies don’t even study their existing or new adult anti-retroviral drugs in children. As an example, the WHO recommends efavirenz for treating AIDS in children, but to date it has still not been studied in children under three years. At least two companies, Cipla and Ranbaxy, are developing much-needed triple-drug formulations for children. Other companies like GlaxoSmithKline are working on low dosage tablets for kids. But we need to put pressure on all drug companies to systematically study all of their AIDS drugs in children and make easy-to-use formulations for kids now. We must make sure that the youngest people living with AIDS are not forgotten.