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J Infect Dis. 2003 Mar 1;187(5):725-35. Epub 2003 Feb 24.

A multicenter randomized controlled trial of nevirapine versus a combination of zidovudine and lamivudine to reduce intrapartum and early postpartum mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Child Health, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of Natal, KwaZulu Natal, Congella 4013, South Africa.


To determine the efficacy and safety of 2 inexpensive and easily deliverable antiretroviral (ARV) regimens for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 during labor and delivery, HIV-infected pregnant women were screened at 11 maternity health institutions in South Africa and were enrolled in an open-label short course ARV regimen of either nevirapine (Nvp) or multiple-dose zidovudine and lamivudine (Zdv/3TC). The overall estimated HIV-1 infection rates in 1307 infants by 8 weeks were 12.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 9.7-15.0) for Nvp and 9.3% (95% CI, 7.0-11.6) for Zdv/3TC (P=.11). Excluding infections detected within 72 h (intrauterine), new HIV-1 infections were detected in 5.7% (95% CI, 3.7-7.8) and 3.6% (95% CI, 2.0-5.3) of infants in the Nvp and Zdv/3TC groups, respectively, in the 8 weeks after birth. There were no drug-related maternal or pediatric serious adverse events. Common complications were obstetrical for mothers (Nvp group, 24.3%; Zdv/3TC group, 26.3%) and respiratory for infants (Nvp group, 16.1%; Zdv/3TC group, 17.0%). This study further confirms the efficacy and safety of short-course ARV regimens in reducing MTCT rates in developing countries.

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