Triathlon Spotlights Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation’s International Efforts to Battle Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission
The 2002 Nautica Malibu Triathlon was held Sept. 15 in California to benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, a not-for-profit group dedicated to reducing mother-to-child HIV transmission, USA Today reports. Prior to 1988, when EGPAF was founded, about 1,500 to 2,000 infants were born with HIV in the United States each year. EGPAF has been instrumental in lowering the U.S. vertical transmission rate through awareness campaigns and funding research, according to USA Today. "Now we're looking at about somewhere less than 300 babies being born next year [in the United States] with the virus," Dr. Jeffrey Safrit, the foundation's senior program officer, said. However, international efforts to reduce MTCT have not been as effective, and the overall worldwide pediatric infection rate is 25% higher this year compared to last year. To help combat the problem, EGPAF has launched an MTCT+ program in 17 nations. The program aims to reduce the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission by working with existing community infrastructures -- such as hospitals, clinics and traditional birth attendants -- to administer the antiretroviral drug nevirapine to HIV-positive pregnant women. The program also provides treatment for the pregnant woman and her family because "we also recognize that saving a child whose parents will perish from the disease leaves them an orphan, often at risk and unable to fend for themselves," EGPAF President and CEO Kate Carr said (Falcon/Shoop, USA Today, 9/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.