A focus on HIV
In 1987, St. Jude founder Danny Thomas declared AIDS a catastrophic disease of children. Soon after, the hospital made HIV/AIDS a research priority at St. Jude and created a pediatric HIV/AIDS clinical program, the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trial Unit (PACTU).
Today, more than 250 patients are a part of PACTU, which has been designated a "Center of Excellence" by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Features of the St. Jude HIV program for children and youth
The St. Jude HIV program for children and youth includes the following:
- A broad, dedicated team: The staff consists of doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a chaplain and a Child Life specialist. All of these people specialize in pediatric and youth-specific issues.
- Continuity of HIV care: HIV-infected patients from birth through 21 years of age are accepted in the program and are provided the latest, recommended HIV care. Patients are supported through 24 years of age and then transition to an adult care provider of the patient’s choice. A health care provider can refer an HIV-infected child or youth to St. Jude using one of the contact methods listed on the patient referral website.
- A respected research program: The St. Jude HIV program is a well-recognized research center and takes part in numerous National Institutes of Health (NIH) and pharmaceutical industry studies. Supported by the NIH, St. Jude is a site for the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Network (IMPAACT), the Adolescent Trials Network (ATN) and the Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS).
- Clinical trials: Through clinical trials, patients in the St. Jude HIV program have access to cutting-edge research including new drugs in development.
- A commitment to the community: The St. Jude HIV clinical staff is committed to the cause of HIV education and prevention in the community. Our doctors, nurse practitioners and social workers provide HIV education and prevention presentations throughout the community and local school system.
For more information about HIV in the Memphis community, visit: www.hivmemphis.org.