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U.S. News

Nevada: Clinic Aims to Help HIV-Positive Women

January 28, 2008

On Jan. 22, a new clinic aimed at preventing perinatal HIV transmission opened in southern Nevada. The clinic is a collaborative effort among the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Aid for AIDS of Nevada, University Medical Center's Wellness Center, and the Area Health Education Center of Southern Nevada. It is funded through a $1 million Ryan White Title II grant and a $384,000 anonymous donation.

The clinic has six exam rooms and offers access to an obstetrician, pediatrician, nutritionists, and an adolescent counselor. Free HIV screenings and medical care for HIV-positive children and adolescents are also available. "You don't need health insurance to get care here," stressed Dr. Echezona Ezeanolue, assistant professor of pediatrics and infectious disease at the medical school.

"There are 485 women between the age of 14 and 45, childbearing age, living in southern Nevada who are HIV-positive," said Ezeanolue. "These HIV-positive women have the potential to get pregnant and give birth to HIV-positive infants. We don't want that to happen."

According to health experts, there is an average 25 percent chance that an infant born to an HIV-positive mother in the United States will become infected. Appropriate antiretroviral treatment and obstetrical interventions can reduce transmission to less than 2 percent.

Mary Ellen Harrell, community health nurse manager for the Southern Nevada Health District, said her agency has long worked to stop the spread of HIV from mother to infant. "For a number of years, that's exactly what happened, but in the past two years we haven't been so lucky. We have seen a number of pediatric HIV cases."

Back to other news for January 2008

Adapted from:
Las Vegas Review-Journal
1.23.2008; Annette Wells

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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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