Baltimore Program Providing HAART to Pregnant Women Prevents Vertical Transmission Among 98% of Participants
A Baltimore program that provides highly active antiretroviral therapy to HIV-positive pregnant women has prevented vertical HIV transmission among 98% of participants, according to Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Peter Beilenson, the Baltimore Sun reports. The University of Maryland Hospital's Pediatric AIDS Program is a federally funded project that provides the combination antiretroviral drug regimens to pregnant women. The program, which costs $1 million annually, also provides counseling and other services to help women adhere to their drug regimens. Beilenson said that over the past two years, only one of the 48 infants born to HIV-positive women enrolled in the program has tested positive for HIV. "Ten to 15 years ago, there was a view that mothers with HIV would give birth to a whole generation of babies with HIV. But today, mothers with HIV are delivering non-infected children. This is very good news," Beilenson said. Last year, Baltimore doctors found that about 90 pregnant women in the city were HIV-positive, nine of whom gave birth to HIV-positive infants (Pelton, Baltimore Sun, 2/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.