Affordable drug offers hope for preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

William K Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article discusses an inexpensive antiretroviral regimen that can significantly reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Nevirapine, a potent and long lasting drug, was found by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Prevention Trials Network study to be 47% effective than the short but expensive course of zidovudine (AZT). In a study conducted in Thailand, a comparison on the efficacy of nevirapine and zidovudine was done among a study population of more than 600 HIV-positive pregnant women. Half of the study population were given 2 600-mg AZT pills at the beginning of labor, 1 300-mg AZT pill every 3 hours until delivery, and twice-daily doses of 200 mg of AZT syrup for their infants for 1 week. On the other hand, the remaining half of the study population were given 1 200-mg dose of nevirapine at the beginning of labor and 1 liquid dose of 2 mg/kg for their newborns. Health of both mother and child were monitored and compared between the two groups. Findings revealed that nevirapine could reduce transmission, and the fact that it is cost-effective and affordable gives hope to the resource-constrained countries with HIV-positive pregnant women who are at risk of transmitting the virus to their infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
JournalImpact on HIV
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1999


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