The Campbell Foundation Funds Research to Study
Heart Disease, Diabetes in Children with HIV
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Susan R. Miller
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, August 20, 2015 – The Campbell Foundation has awarded a $48,900 grant to Dr. Sahera Dirajlal-Fargo, a physician in the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Rheumatology at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, to study the impact of inflammation in the lining of blood vessels on young patients with HIV.
Thanks to antiretroviral therapy (ART) more people infected with HIV are living longer. However, with longevity comes other health-related problems including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, when compared to the general population.
There are many factors contributing to these complications, however ongoing inflammation in particular has been associated with these health-related problems. It is unclear how this relates to children and adolescents infected with HIV. This is particularly important as many have been treated with powerful antiretroviral drugs – some in utero – for a long period of time.
“Considering that older children and adolescents make up the largest percentage of HIV-positive children cared for at pediatric HIV clinics in the U.S., and that cardio and metabolic diseases are the leading cause of death in HIV-positive individuals, it is imperative that we evaluate children and adolescents’ risk of developing these diseases,” said Dr. Dirajlal-Fargo.
Dr. Dirajlal-Fargo and her team will use The Campbell Foundation grant to determine whether markers of inflammation in children and adolescents who are HIV-positive are associated with markers of cardiovascular risk and insulin resistance.
“Although research in this area has been done in HIV-positive adults, it has not been conducted using a younger population,” noted Campbell Foundation Program Officer Ken Rapkin. “As HIV-infected youths age, it is becoming increasingly important to study their risk of developing other health problems. Our foundation’s mission is to fund novel and groundbreaking HIV research and we believe Dr. Dirajlal-Fargo’s work fits nicely with that mission.”
ABOUT THE CAMPBELL FOUNDATION
The Campbell Foundation was established in 1995 by the late Richard Campbell Zahn as a private, independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting clinical, laboratory-based research into the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. It focuses its funding on supporting alternative, nontraditional avenues of research. In its 20th year, the Campbell Foundation has given away almost $10 million dollars, with about $1 million going to direct services. For more information visit www.campbellfoundation.net. Follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.