January 18, 2011
A study published online in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases found that "full-scale anti-retroviral therapy with three drugs reduces the risk of" an HIV-positive mother passing on the virus to her child during breastfeeding by almost half compared with standard treatment recommendations, MedPage Today reports (Smith, 1/13). "Breastfeeding is vital for child health and development in low-resource settings, but infants born to HIV-positive mothers can be infected through breastfeeding. So a team of researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) and five study sites in Burkina Faso, Kenya, and South Africa conducted a randomized, controlled trial to investigate whether three antiretroviral (ARV) drugs taken together by women during pregnancy and breastfeeding are more effective than the standard regimen used to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission in these countries," according to a press release. The researchers found the "cumulative rate of HIV transmission at 12 months of age was 43% lower with the triple-drug regimen compared with the standard regimen," the release notes (1/13). A Lancet Infectious Diseases comment examines the implications of the findings (Becquet/Ekouevi, 1/14).
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