NICHD International and Domestic Pediatric and Maternal HIV Studies Coordinating Center

Investigator: Diane Wara, MD
Sponsor: Westat, Inc.


The NICHD Network conducts trials related to preventing and treating HIV infection and its complications in newborns, infants, children, adolescents, and pregnant women. Since 1987, Maternal and Pediatric Infectious Disease Branch (MPIDB) (formerly the Pediatric, Adolescent, and Maternal AIDS Branch) has funded the NICHD Network, currently composed of 25 domestic sites in 13 states and territories and 9 international sites in Latin America, plus a Data Coordinating Center (DCC).

Current and future areas of research focus include (but are not limited to):

  • Interventions to reduce mother-to-child HIV transmission, with the goal to eliminate perinatal HIV transmission globally;
  • Pharmacokinetics and safety of antiretroviral drugs in pregnant or lactating HIV-infected women and their newborns, including surveillance for:
    • Long-term complications of fetal/infant exposure to drugs used during pregnancy and breastfeeding to prevent perinatal infections and/or treat pregnant and lactating women and
    • Long-term effects on maternal health of antiretroviral drugs used for prevention of transmission;
  • Safety and pharmacokinetics of drugs for the treatment of HIV in infants, children, and adolescents, including those with co-morbidities such as malnutrition, TB, and malaria;
  • Prevention and treatment of HIV-associated infectious/non-infectious morbidity in HIV-infected infants, children, adolescents, and women (pregnant and non-pregnant);
  • Evaluation of vaccines and other biomedical modalities to prevent HIV itself as well as HIV-related and other high-priority infectious diseases;
  • Diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of other high-priority infectious diseases, specifically those that affect infants, children, adolescents, and women (pregnant and non-pregnant) domestically and globally, including the safety and pharmacokinetics of drugs to treat these infections (e.g., TB, malaria, hepatitis);
  • Development and evaluation of strategies to find a cure (or virtual cure) for HIV in infants;
  • Pathogenesis of HIV in infants and children and how it differs from adults within the context of clinical trials; and
  • Development of strategies to prevent HIV acquisition in adolescents and pregnant or lactating women.