The Center for Pediatric and Adolescent AIDS at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary program dedicated to fighting the AIDS epidemic among young people on every front: from education to clinical care to patient outreach to extensive basic and clinical research efforts.
The Center for Pediatric and Adolescent AIDS is at the forefront of patient care, offering the most advanced treatment therapies currently available. Children's Hospital cares for around two thirds of Philadelphia's pediatric AIDS patients and collaborates with other city institutions in providing care for many more. Center clinicians work closely with Children's Hospital specialists in gastroenterology, nutrition, behavioral and neuropsychology, radiology and clinical pharmacology to coordinate comprehensive care for patients.
The center is also an educational resource, working to increase understanding of pediatric and adolescent AIDS in the community. Because AIDS is still a uniformly fatal disease, a major focus of the Center's efforts lies in implementing effective prevention strategies among at-risk populations. The Center has addressed prevention needs among adolescents for more than a decade. Its longstanding and successful "Teen Peer Education Program" is one of the first to employ teens to educate other teens about HIV and other adolescent health risks.
Center staff are also committed to educating other healthcare professionals and community leaders, so that they can apply the most advanced learning in their own work and help eliminate societal barriers to AIDS prevention and treatment.
The Center for Pediatric and Adolescent AIDS is a leading center for basic and clinical AIDS research. Basic research efforts are concentrated on understanding the disease mechanisms involved in HIV/AIDS, a process which ultimately holds the promise of a cure. The effect of HIV infection on the immune system is a major research focus. Center staff also hold key roles in several national clinical research programs, including the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group and the Adolescent Medicine HIV/AIDS Research Network.
Much of the Center's clinical research is focused on developing appropriate drug therapies for infants, children and adolescents. Clinical research also investigates the psycho-social effects of living with HIV infection and the disease's impact on the healthcare delivery system.