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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2001 Jul 20;50(28):599-603.

Evaluation of a regional pilot program to prevent mother-infant HIV transmission--Thailand, 1998-2000.


Worldwide, approximately 2.2 million women and 600,000 infants are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) each year. Extended zidovudine prophylaxis and other antiretroviral and obstetric interventions and the avoidance of breast-feeding have reduced dramatically mother-infant HIV transmission in countries with adequate health-care resources. However, in developing countries, where the impact of HIV is greatest, implementation has been limited by the complexity and expense of these interventions. In Thailand, where approximately 15,000 infants are born to HIV-infected women each year, the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has collaborated with other organizations to identify simpler and more cost-effective interventions to reduce mother-infant HIV transmission. In 1998, a placebo-controlled clinical trial in Thailand using a simplified zidovudine regimen from 36 weeks' gestation until delivery reduced the risk for mother-infant transmission by 50%. In 1998, MOPH initiated a pilot program to prevent mother-infant HIV transmission in region 7, a rural area in northeastern Thailand with an antenatal HIV prevalence of approximately 1%, to assess program feasibility, effectiveness, and acceptability. This report summarizes an evaluation of the 2-year pilot program, which indicated that acceptance of HIV testing and adherence to zidovudine were high and HIV transmission was reduced. The findings demonstrate the feasibility of implementing programs to prevent mother-infant HIV transmission on a large scale in a developing country.

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