Intended for healthcare professionals


Pregnant women with HIV should be started on antiretroviral drugs no later than 28 weeks

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 14 October 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:915
  1. Scott Gottlieb
  1. New York

    If pregnant women with HIV infection start receiving treatment for the infection as early as 28 weeks, the length of time that the newborn infants have to be treated to be safe from their mothers' infection can be shortened, a study has shown.

    In industrialised countries, many HIV positive women receive antiretroviral drugs throughout pregnancy and labour. Their infants continue to receive drugs for six weeks after delivery. This tactic has cut the rate of vertical transmission to less than 2

    In the current study, researchers found that a similar, but shorter and cheaper, drug regimen also cuts transmission (New England Journal of Medicine 2000;343:982-91). Four regimens of zidovudine were evaluated in 1437 non-breastfeeding women in northern Thailand. …

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