ViiV Healthcare commits £4m to protect children from HIV

 Global HIV company ViiV Healthcare has committed £4m to support community projects aimed at reducing the impact of HIV on mothers and children.

The company, an alliance started by GSK and Pfizer, is using its Positive Action for Children Fund (PACF) to support grassroots projects in 26 countries.

The projects emphasise education, prevention and community engagement, and focus in particular on the prevention of mother to child HIV transmission.

An example is the Happy Children initiative in Zambia, which ensures that children born to mothers with HIV receive antiretroviral prophylactic therapy within 72 hours of birth.

The number of children aged below 15 who are living with HIV has reached 3.4 million worldwide.

“Part of ViiV Healthcare’s unique approach is providing valuable support to local community organisations that are making a difference on the ground for the communities in which they live,” said Dr Dominique Limet, CEO of ViiV Healthcare.

Professor Catherine Peckham, Chair of the PACF Board, noted: “PACF recognises a uniquely broad mix of organisations committed to improving the standard of access to care for key populations.”

ViiV Healthcare aims to commit close to £30m by 2015 in community-based programmes to protect mothers and children from HIV and AIDS.

The company, which has support from Shionogi as well as Pfizer and GSK, aims to deliver new anti-HIV medicines and support communities affected by the virus.