University of Miami Researchers Receive Award for Work on Reducing Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission
Three University of Miami researchers have received the 2004 Lois Pope LIFE Foundation International Research Award for their work on reducing the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission, the Miami Herald reports. Drs. Margaret Fischl, Gwendolyn Scott and Mary Jo O'Sullivan will share the $100,000 prize, which is given by the Palm Beach, Fla.-based foundation to an "internationally renowned scientist whose medical breakthroughs have led to patient applications." Dr. Cathy Wilfert, scientific director of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, said that the three researchers "are leaders and deserve an amazing amount of credit" for their work in showing that the antiretroviral drug zidovudine can help lower the risk of MTCT. Combination antiretroviral drug therapy, caesarean-section delivery and improved access to HIV testing and prenatal care have lowered the rate of mother-to-child HIV transmission in the United States to less than 2% of births to HIV-positive women, according to Dr. Mary Glenn Fowler, head of the MTCT section of CDC's Divisions of HIV/AIDS Prevention, the Herald reports. Fowler said that reducing vertical HIV transmission has been "a major success story in the U.S. [HIV/AIDS] epidemic" (Brecher, Miami Herald, 3/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.