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AIDS Conference Commends Four Countries for Anti-AIDS Efforts

September 10, 2001

At the opening of an AIDS conference in Kampala, Uganda, on Sunday, four countries were praised for reducing mother-to-child HIV transmission by making the appropriate drugs readily available. Botswana, Brazil, Thailand and Uganda were presented with awards at the third conference on Global Strategies for the Prevention of HIV Transmission from Mothers to Infants. Globally, about 30 percent of babies born to HIV-positive mothers carry the virus, but AZT, as well as the easier to administer Nevirapine, are known to reduce the rate of mother-to-child transmission by about 47 percent.

Botswana was honored for having initiated two pilot programs in 1999 providing free AZT to all HIV-positive pregnant women. The project has been extended to half the country's districts.

Brazil was recognized for its policy of providing AZT free to all HIV-infected mothers and infants attending public hospitals.

Thailand was commended for its role in a 1996 research project, conducted in conjunction with the CDC, during which it was observed that AZT could reduce mother-to-child transmission. In 1999, the Thai government launched a policy to ensure that all pregnant women would be provided with voluntary counseling and testing for HIV, as well as AZT for HIV-infected women and health care for their babies. In 1991, researchers predicted that 4 million people in Thailand would be HIV-positive by 2001; instead, 1 million people are now thought to be infected.

Uganda was singled out as a success story for reducing HIV prevalence from 18.5 percent in 1995 to 8.3 percent in 1999.

The five-day conference is expected to attract around 600 delegates. A satellite conference on women and HIV is being held concurrently.

Back to other CDC news for September 10, 2001

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Adapted from:
Agence France Presse

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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