November 20, 2002
Ethiopia's government is ready to begin testing nevirapine, used to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, the daily Addis Zemen reported. Health officials said initial trials of the drug would take place in five cities, including the capital Addis Ababa, following work to boost hospital capacity and ensure patient follow-up. Nevirapine could cut mother-to-child HIV transmission by 50 percent, according to HIV/AIDS experts at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Addis Ababa. Between 6.4 percent and 7.3 percent of Ethiopia's adult population are estimated to be HIV-positive. Almost a million children in Ethiopia are AIDS orphans. Nevirapine is being provided free by a large pharmaceutical company, which the government daily did not name. The international drug company Boehringer-Ingelheim recently proposed to provide free nevirapine to developing countries.
Agence France Presse