Early Anti-Retroviral Treatment in HIV-infected Children (EARTH)

EARTH is a prospective cohort study expected to involve 300 newly diagnosed HIV positive children who start early ART early in life and are following the local standard of care. These children will be enrolled at 6 sites in Mali, Mozambique and South Africa and will be followed till they reach the age of 4.

The EARTH study began in May 2018.

Study Aim

The EARTH study aims to monitor clinical, virological and immunological features of HIV-positive, early treated children to identify participants with and without excellent viral and immunological control, in order to distinguish potential participants in proof-of-concept trials directed to HIV cure.

Why is the EARTH study important?

Early ART initiation is correlated with a low reservoir and good immunological outcomes. By monitoring the reservoir from birth during the first 4 years of age, we can identify and characterize a proportion of early-treated children who will or will not have an excellent control of HIV at 4 years of age in terms of clinical, viral and immunological features. This differentiation will help us identify which participants are more likely to benefit from which novel therapeutic interventions, depending on the profile of the patient, the intervention and the endpoint.

Social/Behavioral and Ethics Research in the EARTH Cohort (BESST)

BESST is a mixed-methods approach, and sub study of the EARTH study, established to obtain data from caregivers on their attitudes and experiences with ART. BESST began in July 2021

The data collected will be used to create recommendations for one or more interventions to address adherence and retention challenges in the EARTH study.

EARTH and BESST are sponsored by Penta