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Texas Children’s Hospital Commits $5 Million to Fight Pediatric AIDS


HOUSTON - Texas Children’s Hospital has committed to donate up to $5 million in support of Dr. Mark Kline’s Pediatric AIDS initiative in Africa. The funds will be distributed through a “Challenge Fund” to match philanthropic gifts pledged to Texas Children’s for the initiative.

The Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) at Texas Children’s Hospital is entering its 12th year of providing lifesaving treatment and education to children throughout the world hit hardest by the AIDS epidemic. The announcement took place at a luncheon highlighting the groundbreaking work of Dr. Mark W. Kline, chief of retrovirology at Texas Children’s Hospital and a full-time Baylor College of Medicine faculty member.

Directly following the establishment of the Challenge Fund commitment from Texas Children’s, a $2 million gift from the Abbott Fund and a $1 million gift from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation were announced. With the combination of these contributions and the match from the Texas Children’s Challenge Fund, a total of $6 million was added to program in one afternoon.

“Words cannot describe the pride we have in being a part of this unparalleled initiative. Dr. Kline’s tireless efforts have resulted in increased awareness of the AIDS pandemic in Africa, but moreover the initiative has saved countless lives and provided hope to an area of the world that seemed forgotten,” said Wallace.

Under the guidance and leadership of Dr. Mark Kline, the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative at Texas Children’s Hospital has grown from an initial pediatric AIDS clinic in Romania to six clinics throughout Africa, and has also trained and placed health professionals and treated a larger number of HIV-infected children than any other organization.

The care and education provided at the clinics has led to remarkable success and has become a model for reaching HIV-infected children and their families. The money pledged today, as well as potential future funding, will be used to:

* Enhance and expand satellite facilities for HIV-infected children
* Provide outreach to children in rural and semi-rural areas
* Expand efforts to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV
* Initiate voluntary hospital-based testing of children in order to
provide proactive and appropriate treatment

Attending the luncheon with one of his patients and her family, Dr. Kline was amazed. “Today we have raised money that will help us not only grow our program, but allow us to investigate additional areas that may lead to the reduction, and ultimately, the eradication of this disease,” Dr. Kline remarked. “I want to thank the Abbot Fund, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Texas Children’s Hospital for stepping up to make a true difference in the health of children throughout the world.”

According to Mark A. Wallace, “The work and goals of the AIDS Initiative align perfectly with the mission of Texas Children’s in supporting a community of healthy children - whether that community be local, regional or international. Texas Children’s recently launched a $1.5 billion expansion initiative, Vision 2010: Excellence to Eminence, which is focused on research advancements and expanding access to quality care for all children. The BIPAI program at Texas Children’s Hospital is a true example of this endeavor and a model for excellence and eminence throughout the world.”


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