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Prevention/Epidemiology

NPR Blog Examines Debate Over Option B+ HIV Prevention Strategy

March 1, 2013

NPR's "Shots" blog examines the debate over Option B+, a strategy to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission that "aims to put every pregnant woman with HIV on triple-drug treatment and keep her on it for the rest of her life -- even if the virus has not yet damaged her immune system to the point where she needs medications to preserve her own health." A report published Friday in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" shows "that when Malawi ... made a big push to implement Option B+, the payoff was impressive: a sevenfold increase in the number of pregnant and breastfeeding women starting anti-HIV treatment in only a year," according to the blog. CDC Director Thomas Frieden "estimates Option B+ prevented 7,000 infants from getting HIV from their mothers in its first year of operation," and "[h]e predicts Option B+ will have ripple effects that benefit families and communities by sharply reducing transmission of HIV from women to their uninfected partners," the blog notes.

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See Also
Pregnancy and HIV/AIDS in the Developing World
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