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J Assoc Physicians India. 2012 Dec;60:39-44.

Prevention of perinatal HIV I transmission by protease inhibitor based triple drug antiretroviral therapy versus nevirapine as single dose at the time of delivery.

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Department of Medicine, Seth G.S. Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai.


In India, parent to child transmission is the most important source of HIV infection in children below fifteen years of age. Transmission of HIV from mother to child can occur even at low or undetectable HIV virus levels. CD4 count or HIV RNA levels should not be the determining factor when deciding whether to use antiretroviral drugs for prevention of perinatal transmission of HIV. Use of single dose nevirapine during labour, in prevention of parent to child transmission (PPTCT) programme for pregnant females with CD4 count > 250 cells/cumm has less efficacy in reducing perinatal transmission. And there are high chances of development of nevirapine resistance to both mother and baby after single dose nevirapine exposure. Short course Protease inhibitor(PI) based triple drug combination ART from 28 weeks till delivery for perinatal prophylaxis is effective in reducing perinatal HIV transmission. PI's are safe in pregnancy and also have less chances of development of resistance when used for perinatal prophylaxis and stopped post delivery.Hence, it is opined that PI based combination ART should be offered to pregnant females in PPTCT programme, thereby preventing occurrence of paediatric HIV infection in India. This can have significant impact on the society at large.

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