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AIDS Treat News. 2004 Nov-Dec;(407-408):9-13.

Nevirapine misinformation: will it kill?


In mid December 2004 three Associated Press stories created widespread doubts about nevirapine, a well-known, critically important drug that can prevent HIV in many of the 1,800 babies now infected every day by their mothers in childbirth. The media allegations that went around the world grew out of a bitter personal and personnel dispute between two employees at the U.S. National Institutes of Health. No new information about nevirapine was released; doctors know that it still has the same risks and benefits after the newspaper stories as before. But many experts fear that the emotions released by the worldwide misinformation will result in many HIV-positive mothers getting no treatment and unnecessarily infecting their children with HIV. Here is background that has been missing in many of the news reports.

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