As the director of the Pediatric HIV/AIDS Program at Children’s Hospital Oakland (CHO), Dr. Petru is dedicated to providing comprehensive care to children with HIV.
Petru values the opportunity she has as a clinician to develop long-term relationships with patients and families affected by HIV. She assures them of researchers’ interest in the well-being of the child, and educates parents, caregivers, and child welfare officials of the potential benefits to HIV-infected children of participation in clinical trials for which they meet the enrollment criteria. As a result, from 1989 until 2007, more than 50 percent of the clinic’s patients were participants in drug and combination-therapy trials.
In treatment-related research, Petru and her colleagues assayed patients’ spinal fluid to investigate the penetration of the virus and various therapeutic agents into the central nervous system. The findings of this study were used to assess the degree of neurological complications in pediatric HIV, and the potential of current drug therapy to counteract it.
Other research projects assessed the changes in body composition in pediatric patients at the time of and in response to changes in their antiretroviral treatment, and studies of long-term complications of HIV in children.
Due to major funding cutbacks at NIH in 2007, support for research in our clinically-based HIV/AIDS Program was drastically interrupted. However, the Program is open to work with other researchers on new projects, should funding become available.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 12:58 PM