Co-trimoxazole as prophylaxis against opportunistic infections in HIV-infected Zambian children: a double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial

Can an antibiotic help to treat children with HIV?

What was this study about?

The CHAP trial aimed to test how well a drug called cotrimoxazole works when used to treat children with HIV. Cotrimaxole is a cheap and widely available antibiotic. This trial took place in Zambia, where a lot of people are resistant to a number of anti-HIV drugs.

What difference did this study make?

This trial showed that children of all ages with symptoms of HIV should take cotrimoxazole, even in areas where there is known resistance to this drug, as it reduces the death rate by 43% compared to the placebo.

Cotrimoxazole was licensed and supplied to all children who are HIV positive in Zambia. Researchers recommended it should be made available to all HIV-infected children in developing countries.

Type of study

Randomised trial

Contact details

Who funded the study?

The Medical Research Council.

When did it take place?

Recruitment of the trial started in March 2001. It was stopped on the advice of the data monitoring committee in 2003. The results of the trial were published in the Lancet in 2004.

Who was included?

541 children who were infected with HIV, aged 1-14 years in Zambia. They were randomised into two groups. Children in one group were given cotrimoxazole. Children in the other group were given a placebo.

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