California Medical Center Celebrates 15-Year Milestone
January 24, 2011
The Bickerstaff Pediatric Family Center at Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach, California is celebrating 15 consecutive years of zero HIV transmissions from mother to baby, according to an announcement issued on January 14. Transmission of HIV from mother to baby has decreased in the U.S. and other developed countries and recently the rate of overall transmission is down under 1%. However, the Bickerstaff Center has consistently focused on staying on top of leading research and treatment initiatives to maintain zero transmissions since the early 1990s.
"Although many HIV programs have had improvements over the years, Miller Children's is unique and very proud that we have consistently been at zero transmissions for 15 consecutive years," says Audra Deveikis, medical director, Bickerstaff Pediatric Family Center. "We have had zero transmissions since the early 1990's, with all the changes in HIV care over the years and new drugs that have come out, it's quite a remarkable feat."
According to the announcement, research efforts have played a tremendous part in the 15-year streak. "In partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Bickerstaff Center participates in national and international research studies, such as the International Maternal, Pediatric, and Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Group (IMPAACT), to determine successful treatment regimens. Being a part of research initiatives ensures quality control, evaluation of the appropriate dosing of medications, and new medications that can advance the treatment of the disease."
New mothers who enter the Center are placed on HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy). The treatment regimen reduces the quantity of virus in the blood and this has been shown to prevent transmission from mother to baby.
The Bickerstaff Pediatric Family Center hopes to continue to work intensively to maximize prevention efforts and to reach the 30-year mark in their successful prevention of mother-to-baby transmission.
This article was provided by Test Positive Aware Network. It is a part of the publication Positively Aware. Visit TPAN's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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