Zimbabwean Program To Prevent Mother-To-Child HIV Transmission
TheZimbabwean government plans to begin a new antiretroviral drug treatment policyfor its mother-to-child prevention program, Owen Mugurungi, head of theHIV/AIDS and TB unit at the Ministry ofHealth and Child Welfare, said last week, The Herald/AllAfrica.com reports.
HIV-positive pregnant women in the country currently take a single dose ofnevirapine during birth to prevent transmitting the virus to their infants. Thenew treatment, which is backed by the World HealthOrganization, willinvolve giving women a combination of nevirapine and zidovudine before andduring birth.
According to the health ministry, the standard, single-dose nevirapinetreatment is 50% effective in reducing mother-to-child HIV transmission. Thenew treatment, which was studied in Zambia, was found to be twice aseffective as the standard treatment, the ministry said.
Mugurungi said the only obstacle to implementing the new treatment is cost, asit is more expensive than the single-dose treatment, The Herald/AllAfrica.comreports (The Herald/AllAfrica.com, 2/4).
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