amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

TREAT Asia Pediatric Researcher Receives an IAS CIPHER Grant

A Way Forward TREAT Asia network member Tavitiya Sudjaritruk, M.D., received a CIPHER grant for her study investigating liver disease among HIV-positive children and adolescents.

TREAT Asia pediatric network member Tavitiya Sudjaritruk, M.D., of the Research Institute for Health Sciences, Chiang Mai University, Thailand, is the first Asian researcher to receive a grant from the International AIDS Society’s (IAS) Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research (CIPHER). The grant will support Dr. Sudjaritruk’s study investigating liver disease among HIV-positive children and adolescents taking antiretroviral treatment (ART) and will be awarded during the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia, July 20–25.

“With advances in ART, most of our perinatally HIV-infected children are now growing up with HIV, surviving into adolescence and young adulthood, and experiencing a lot of long-term complications of HIV infection and its therapy,” says Dr. Sudjaritruk. “However, there is still a lack of data on this from resource-constrained countries, particularly Asian countries.”

IAS launched CIPHER in 2012, using a generous £1.5 million grant from ViiV Healthcare, to fill those gaps in pediatric HIV research. The program includes a database that pools data from approximately 280,000 patients from pediatric HIV cohorts worldwide—including TREAT Asia’s—and a grants program funding early-career investigators doing pediatric HIV research in resource-limited settings. To date, CIPHER has issued nine grants, including Dr. Sudjaritruk’s.

Better understanding the long-term effects of ART on young people is critical to their health and future quality of life. “Liver injury and metabolic complications are among the most important problems that increase morbidity in this specific population,” says Dr. Sudjaritruk. Her study will enroll approximately 150 HIV-positive children and adolescents taking ART and extensively evaluate them for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and metabolic complications.