Longer, Stronger HIV Drug Regimen For Breastfeeding Women Cuts Mother-To-Child Transmission Rate, Study Finds
"HIV infection rates among babies are significantly cut when mothers are given prolonged ARV treatment during breastfeeding," according to findings released at the International AIDS Society conference in Cape Town, South Africa on Wednesday, Reuters reports. According to Reuters, "Key findings from the study showed that a stronger drug cocktail administered over a longer period reduced the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission compared with the current WHO-recommended short-course ARV regimen." Tim Farley, project leader for the "Kesho Bora" study which was conducted at five sites in Burkina Faso, Kenya and South Africa by the WHO in partnership with several other international agencies said, "The results of this study show an almost two-fold reduction in the risk of HIV transmission during the breastfeeding period and also [show] there is no short-term toxicity (to mothers or infants)." The WHO "is reviewing its 2006 recommendations on the use of ARVs in pregnant women, including during the breastfeeding period. New guidelines are expected to be published by the end of 2009 and will take into account emerging data," Reuters reports (Roelf, 7/21).
The Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report contains additional coverage of the International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.