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Hope for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

Authors
  • Clark, S
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Lancet
Publisher
Elsevier BV
Publication Date
Jul 22, 2000
Volume
356
Issue
9226
Pages
316–316
Identifiers
PMID: 11071195
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

During the 13th International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, investigators of trials in several countries reported success with simple, cheap regimens of nevirapine given to mothers and newborn infants. Results from the South African Intrapartum Nevirapine Trial confirmed that nevirapine is safe and effective in reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. In addition, preliminary findings of long-term follow-up of a trial in Uganda indicated that the benefits of this drug are maintained at 18 months. However, the investigators also recorded a seven-fold increase in HIV infection at 4-8 weeks in breast-fed infants. Loss of efficacy may be explained through a high number of infection in breast-fed children, with breast-feeding doubling the risk at 18 months. Moreover, Anna Coutsoudis of the University of Natal, South Africa, suggested that the culture of breast-feeding in this region contribute to this loss of efficacy. She explained that adding foods into the child's diet at an early stage introduces allergens or contaminants to the gut, which in turn led to an inflammatory response. The resulting damage to the gut might allow the virus to enter the baby's system.

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