Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Vietnam First Asian Nation To Distribute Viramune to Prevent Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission
Vietnam will be the first Asian country to begin distributing Viramune to HIV-positive pregnant women as part of a program designed to reduce mother-to-child HIV transmission, Xinhua News Agency reports. The Vietnamese Ministry of Health on Wednesday accepted from pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim the first of five donated shipments of Viramune, which is also known as nevirapine (Xinhua News Agency, 11/7). A single dose of nevirapine given to a woman in labor and to her newborn infant can reduce the risk of HIV transmission by 50% (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/16). According to Xinhua News, 90% of childhood HIV cases can be attributed to vertical transmission during pregnancy, labor, delivery or breastfeeding. The United Nations Development Programme and the World Health Organization estimate that there are 54,640 HIV-positive people in Vietnam, although some estimate that the actual number is much higher (Xinhua News Agency, 11/7).
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