HIV Prevention in Children

Established in 1987, our HIV/AIDS Prevention Program cares for more children and adolescents than any other pediatric HIV service provider in the region. Being a part of a free-standing pediatric hospital, with many specialty services at one location, enables our program to provide a comprehensive approach to caring for HIV-impacted families. We work closely with other pediatric specialty care services including Allergy, Neurology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Endocrinology and Dentistry.

The Lurie Children's Difference

Our team of specialists has extensive experience in treating pediatric and adolescent HIV and AIDS. Your child will receive top-quality care and our multidisciplinary team will develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses the needs of your child and your family. The program has an on-site laboratory certified in various HIV tests, allowing us to obtain tests faster than any other institution in the Chicago area. Our lab has become one of the top rated pediatric HIV/AIDS labs in the country.

Our healthcare team coordinates various special activities for patients and families throughout the year, including caregiver education sessions, family fun days, special events for teens, a mentorship program matching patients with medical students and a quarterly newsletter to share information with parents. During our Community Advisory Board, parents, care givers and others from the community meet regularly to learn about clinic operations and to share their ideas and opinions.

We also offer an HIV Prevention Education ​Program​. We are committed to stopping HIV transmission from mother to child and among adolescents, and our HIV prevention education program works within the community to reach and educate those youth most at-risk of 

What to Expect

A number of treatment options are available for children and adolescents living with HIV that prolong their lives and greatly improve the quality of their lives. There are now three different classes of anti-HIV medications available, each of which works against HIV in a different way. Most patients are treated with combination therapy which can consist of two, three or four different anti-HIV medications. These combination therapies (or "cocktails") generally include:

  • A protease inhibitor (such as Kaletra, Crixivan, Fortovase or Viracept)
  • Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (such as Sustiva or Viramune)
  • Other anti-HIV medications (such as Retrovir, Epivir, Zerit, Videx, and Abacavir)

Our healthcare team constantly strives to improve the health and lives of our patients by managing their medications, reducing drug side effects and addressing health care needs.

Our Specialists

Our program is led by Ellen G. Chadwick, MD. The program’s multidisciplinary health care team includes William J. Muller, MD, PhD, and Jennifer Jao, MD, MPH, as well as a child life specialist, a nutritionist, a speech therapist, a physical/occupational therapist, a developmental specialist and a special phlebotomist. 

Prevention Tips

An important part of HIV and AIDS prevention is understanding how HIV can be transmitted and taking steps to prevent transmission. We encourage prevention education and offer outreach programs to inform our community of prevention methods. Learn more about HIV prevention, transmission and testing:


If you'd like to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, visit our Appointments page for more information.

HIV/AIDS Research

The HIV/AIDS Program at Lurie Children's is Chicago’s leader in providing patients with the opportunity to enroll in pediatric or adolescent HIV/AIDS clinical research studies sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Clinical trials are studies to develop, produce and evaluate the effectiveness of new treatments and therapies for diseases. Our program offers patients access to the latest medication and treatment available. This research will continue to:

  • Advance the standards of HIV care 
  • Improve the quality of life for HIV-infected patients
  • Reduce new infection rates

Currently, the program has more than 185 patients enrolled in government-sponsored clinical trials. It is one of the top rated pediatric HIV research sites in the country. Learn more about the hospital’s clinical trials related to HIV/AIDS.

In addition, the HIV/AIDS Program participates in numerous pharmaceutical companies' clinical research studies that strive to improve medication alternatives for HIV patients. These studies allow our patients access to cutting-edge research and medications that are designed to improve their quality of life until effective vaccines and a cure are found.

Current research at Lurie Children's involves:

  • Working with immune modulators that focus on boosting the body's immune response
  • Investigating the response to routine vaccination in patients with HIV to achieve a better response
  • Designing potent and easily managed treatment regimens to decrease the rate of opportunistic infections
  • Changing the factors involved in transmission of HIV between mother and infant (vertical transmission of HIV)
  • Modulating treatment regimens and diet to facilitate normal cognitive (mental) and physiological (body weight and size) growth


We've collected a set of resources for people looking for help with HIV or general information.


The HIV/AIDS Prevention Program is funded almost completely by grants and donations, and your support is important in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of our patients. To learn more about supporting our program, contact the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at or 312.227.7500.

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