CHARS report shows high retention in care among children living with HIV

We are pleased to announce that the first CHARS annual report (2022-23) has been published and focuses on 301 children and young people seen for HIV care in 2022-23.

The Children’s HIV and AIDS Reporting System (CHARS) is commissioned by NHS England and was launched in January 2022 to carry out the important long-term follow-up of children and young people living with HIV seen by paediatric services in England. Data collected includes clinical markers and other health measures.  

Key highlights from the report are:

  • The majority of those now in paediatric care are teenagers and will soon be transferring to adult services (approximately 1/3 have already transferred to adolescent or adult care since CHARS launched)
  • Almost half of children and young people were born abroad. Almost all children acquired HIV vertically.
  • There is high retention in care with nearly all children and young people on ART (Triumeq is the most commonly reported regimen).
  • Clinical markers are reassuring with nearly 90% virologically suppressed and 80% with Stage 1 immune status.
  • Ongoing work is required to understand any challenges relating to retention in care during the period of transition into adult care.

Helen Peters, Surveillance Manager at the Integrated Screening Outcomes Surveillance Service (ISOSS) said, “The CHARS team are hugely grateful to our clinical colleagues who report to CHARS for all their work to provide ongoing high-quality data. Surveillance of the increasingly small numbers of children and young people living with HIV in England remains vital to ensure their unique needs are met.”

National surveillance carried out by CHARS provides valuable insights into the cohort of children and young people in paediatric HIV care in England to inform guidelines, including the revised Chiva Standards of Care. CHARS will continue to publish annual reports summarising those children and young people in paediatric HIV care.