September 1, 2011
"A study conducted in Uganda and Zambia by the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) found high rates of syphilis and HIV co-infection among pregnant women in both countries," but showed that "integrating rapid syphilis screening and HIV testing for pregnant women was feasible, cost-effective, and helped to prevent transmission of syphilis and HIV from mother-to-child," PlusNews reports.
"Like HIV, syphilis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among women and children in developing countries," the news service writes, noting that the EGPAF study found that 14.3 percent of syphilis-positive pregnant women in Uganda also tested positive for HIV and 24.2 percent tested HIV-positive in Zambia. "The study's findings convinced Zambia's health ministry to include rapid syphilis testing in its standard package of PMCT [prevention of mother-to-child transmission] services and antenatal care, said Ministry of Health spokesperson, Reuben Kamoto Mbewe," PlusNews reports (9/1).
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