Johnson & Johnson launches pediatric HIV treatment program

Janssen, the pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson, announced on Monday that it launched a program to donate pediatric HIV treatment to children and adolescents in need in sub-Saharan Africa.

Janssen announced the rollout of its program at a symposium at the 17th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa entitled "When Children Need HIV Treatment Beyond First-Line: How Can We All Respond?" The program will provide HIV treatment to all children and adolescents until the age of 19, at which point they will qualify for adult treatment programs.

"The donation program is part of our longstanding commitment to help people living with HIV and enhance access to our medicines for those in need," Johnson & Johnson Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels said. "Only a third of the 3 million children living with HIV are receiving medicines today, and of those children receiving treatment, a small but growing number are experiencing HIV treatment failures and are in need of new treatment options."

The program will supply its HIV drugs, Prezista and Intelence, free of charge to those that qualify for the program in the hope of addressing the need for second and third-line pediatric HIV treatment.

"We hope this innovative donation program is the first step in sparking further collaborative action across sub-Saharan Africa for children who are experiencing HIV treatment failure," Stoffels said. "Our vision is that these children receive the HIV treatment and care they need to stay healthy and grow to become healthy, productive young adults."