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Paediatric European Network for Treatment of AIDS and European Collaborative Study on HIV-infected pregnant women and their children
Framework programme:
Project number:
EC contribution:
€ 2 000 000
48 months
Starting date:
March 2006

Keywords: HIV; cohort; vertical transmission; pregnancy; adverse effects; antiretroviral therapy; management; childhood; Eastern Europe


The Paediatric European Network for Treatment of AIDS (PENTA), established in 1991, undertakes clinical trials (CTs) to address questions in HIV-infected children where answers cannot be extrapolated from adults. The European Collaborative Study (ECS), a birth cohort study enrolling HIV-infected pregnant women with follow-up of their infected and uninfected infants, was set up in 1985. The PENTA network includes >80 centres in 16 countries and by October 2004, nearly 1 000 children had been enrolled in nine major CTs. The ECS network includes >25 centres in 11 countries and by June 2005 had recruited >6 300 mother-child pairs.

PENTA aims to strengthen and extend the evidence base for the clinical management of HIV-infected children through an integrated programme of CTs and studies. Work plans include design, coordination and analysis of CTs and sub-studies to optimise antiretroviral therapy (ART) use, to enhance knowledge of HIV pathogenesis in children, and improve the standard of care for infected children across Europe by encouraging collaboration between paediatricians. An accredited training programme will also be provided.

ECS objectives include epidemiological investigation of HIV infection in pregnancy and assessment of safety of ART use; monitoring/quantification of MTCT rates, risk factors and interventions across Europe; assessment of disease progression and adverse events in infected children, particularly vertically-infected adolescents; examination of the health of uninfected children, given exposure to maternal HIV and ART in early life, and investigation of feasibility of long-term contact with ART-exposed uninfected children.

In order to integrate their activities, to avoid duplication and to share expertise both in MTCT and paediatric treatment, PENTA and ECS will join and share a common management group for the next four years.

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