Intended for healthcare professionals


Short course zidovudine cuts vertical transmission of HIV

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 13 March 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:691
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. London

    A short course of the anti-HIV drug zidovudine can halve the rate of mother to child transmission in women who do not breastfeed and can reduce transmission among those who do by one third, according to the latest research.

    The regimen could benefit thousands of babies in developing countries, where 90%of infant infections occur, and where previously there has been no strategy to reduce the risk of transmission. Every year 600000 infants are born with HIV. Without intervention 15–30%of babies are infected during labour and a further 15–30% through breastfeeding.

    The short course of zidovudine treatment is a simplified version of that developed in 1994 by the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group (known as the 076 protocol), …

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