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Kenya to Offer Free Drug to Combat Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission

May 28, 2002

Kenya is about to become one of the few African countries offering HIV-positive pregnant women free nevirapine to prevent transmission of the virus to their unborn children, a health ministry spokesperson said Friday. Public Health Minister Sam Ongeri said that US-based Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals will donate 1 million doses of nevirapine worth about $436,000 to Kenya over the next five years. The government estimates that between 30 and 40 percent of babies born to infected mothers become HIV-positive. Of Kenya's 30 million people, an estimated 2.2 million are infected with the virus. In April, the South African government said it would begin a national nevirapine program by the end of this year. Four months earlier, President Thabo Mbeki's government lost a high court case, filed by AIDS activists and pediatricians, to force the government to make the drug available.


Back to other CDC news for May 28, 2002

Previous Updates

Adapted from:
Associated Press
05.24.02; Tom Maliti


  
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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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