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Pregnancy & HIV MTCT

U.N. AIDS Meeting Calls for More Treatment Access, Fewer Child Infections

World leaders at a U.N. High Level Meeting on AIDS last week adopted a consensus declaration setting targets for global universal access to antiretroviral therapy and elimination of mother-to-child HIV transmission. alt

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FDA Approves New Atazanavir Dose Recommendation for Pregnant Women

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week approved revised product label information for the HIV protease inhibitor atazanavir (Reyataz), providing a new dosing recommendation for HIV positive pregnant women. All pregnant women should boost atazanavir with ritonavir (Norvir), and women in their third trimester or those taking certain other medications including tenofovir (Viread, also in the Truvada and Atripla combination pills) should increase their dose.

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Longer Preventive Therapy, More Drugs Reduce Risk of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission

Infants born to HIV positive women diagnosed at the time of labor were less than half as likely to be infected if they received 2 or 3 antiretroviral drugs rather than zidovudine (Retrovir; AZT) alone, according to a multinational study presented at the 18th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2011) this month in Boston. A related trial showed that treating infants with nevirapine (Viramune) for 6 months rather than 6 weeks significantly reduced the risk of HIV transmission through breastfeeding.

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Tuberculosis Coinfection Increases Risk of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission

HIV positive women coinfected with tuberculosis (TB) are more likely to transmit HIV to their babies during pregnancy, according to a study described in the February 1, 2011, Journal of Infectious Diseases. These findings underline the importance of TB treatment and use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) to prevent HIV transmission.

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An AIDS-free Generation Is Possible, Says UN Report

Use of antiretroviral drugs has dramatically reduced the rate of mother-to-child HIV transmission worldwide, yet there is still room for improvement according to a report by UN agencies released to coincide with World AIDS Day. In 2009, about half of HIV positive pregnant women received prophylactic antiretrovirals, and an estimated 370,000 babies were born with HIV, mostly in Africa. But perinantal transmission could be eliminated, the report concluded, by expanding access to antiretroviral therapy, especially for the most disadvantage groups including young, poor, and rural women.

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