South African Anglican Church Raising Money to Treat HIV-Positive Pregnant Women
The Anglican church in South Africa is raising money to provide antiretroviral drugs and treatment services to pregnant HIV-positive women, the London Guardian reports. The campaign, called "God's Babies," would provide participating women with AZT and nevirapine to prevent vertical transmission. To reduce the risk of HIV transmission through breast feeding, the program would purchase baby formula, sterilizing equipment and bottles for the women. The church estimates that the cost of providing pre-birth antiretroviral therapy and formula supplies for a woman up to six months after delivery will cost about $62. The money would come from donations. The Anglican church has been "among the most vocal supporters" of expanding access to AIDS drugs to developing nations, and has been critical of the South African government's "reluctance" to administer antiretroviral therapy to pregnant women. In September, Njongonkulu Ndungane, archbishop of Cape Town, said that the government's inaction "would be judged 'as serious a crime against humanity as apartheid'" (McGreal, Guardian, 4/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.