Houston Chronicle Examines Baylor Pediatric AIDS Program
The Houston Chronicle on Sunday examined the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative and its centers in Africa (Hopper , Houston Chronicle, 7/9). Under the initiative, the Pediatric AIDS Corps -- a program of the Baylor College of Medicine and Bristol-Myers Squibb launched in June 2005 -- 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 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/8). According to the Chronicle, BIPAI has enrolled thousands of children in HIV/AIDS treatment programs in six African countries. In Gaborone, Botswana, where BIPAI established its first African clinic three years ago, the number of HIV-trained physicians has increased, and the number of pediatric patients hospitalized with AIDS-related illnesses has decreased dramatically, the Chronicle reports (Hopper , Houston Chronicle, 7/9). The clinic provides antiretroviral drugs to 1,400 HIV-positive children and 200 families, according to the Chronicle. Because of the antiretrovirals, "people are back at work," and there are "very few funerals these days," Botswana's Health Minister Sheila Tlou said, adding, "We really know [the antiretrovirals] are working. But we're also putting a lot more effort into prevention because we know if the incidence keeps rising, there's no way we can sustain it" (Hopper , Houston Chronicle, 7/9). BIPAI's network of clinics is expanding with money from BMS and the Abbott Fund and donated land from local governments, which also provide support staff and medication (Hopper , Houston Chronicle, 7/9). BIPAI currently treats HIV-positive children in African nations, China, Mexico and Romania and trains health professionals throughout the world. The program plans to open centers in Burkina Faso and Uganda in 2007 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.