Mother to child HIV transmission rate dips

Mother to child HIV transmission rate dips
Highlights

The Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART) project was first rolled out in the 23 districts in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and the results are already showing.

With the introduction of Anti Retroviral Therapy in all the 23 districts of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh in 2012, there has been a marked improvement in the vertical transmission rate of HIV from mother to child. The rate has nosedived from 12 per cent in September 2012 to 0.5 per cent

The Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART) project was first rolled out in the 23 districts in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and the results are already showing.

In the period between September 12, 2012 and September 12, 2014, 2,236 women were found positive in all the 23 districts as per the Prevention of Parents to Child Transmission (PPTCT) data. 1.5 per cent children were found positive. In all, 33 children were found to be HIV positive. Dr S Ram Mohan, deputy director, Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres (ICTC) says, “The triple drug regimen started in January 2014. The Anti Retroviral Therapy is administered to pregnant women who are HIV positive and would have to take it lifelong. The drug has to be taken even after childbirth and it would protect the future babies born to the mother.”

Before 2012, a single dose of Nevirapine Proplylaxis was administered to pregnant women but with triple drug regimen, the results have been good. It takes 18 months to ascertain if the child is HIV positive. According to the first cohort (the first set of mothers who were tested for HIV in 2012) the vertical transmission rate from mother to child dipped phenomenally to 0.5 per cent.

The results of the second cohort would be out in a month’s time. Prior to September 2012, the vertical transmission rate from mother to child was 12 per cent which has now dropped to 0.5 per cent. The testing of pregnant woman is conducted at ICTC centres in all the 23 districts. There are 1,661 ICTC centres in all. Women collect their medicines from the 55 ART centres that are spread over the districts.

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