WHO and UNAIDS Continue to Support Use of Nevirapine for Prevention of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission
March 22, 2002
Geneva -- The statement released today by the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH), concerning some reporting and documentation irregularities in clinical trial HIVNET012, does not warrant any change in the recommendations issued following a WHO technical consultation on mother-to-child HIV transmission in October 2000.
This expert group, convened by WHO on behalf of UNICEF, UNFPA, and the UNAIDS Secretariat, concluded that the safety and effectiveness of antiretroviral regimens, including nevirapine, in preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission has been clearly documented and that the use of these regimens is thus warranted for preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission. The simplest regimen requires a single dose of nevirapine to the mother at delivery and a single dose to the newborn within 72 hours of birth.
The NIH statement emphasized that, according to available information, there has been no evidence the scientific data from the HIVNET012 study demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of nevirapine is invalid. Each year, more than 600,000 infants become infected with HIV, mainly through mother-to-child transmission. WHO and the UNAIDS Secretariat recommend that the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, including antiretroviral regimens such as nevirapine, should be included in the minimum standard package of care for HIV-positive women and their children. We are aware of no information that would cause the WHO and UNAIDS to change its recommendations.
For more information, please contact Bernhard Schwartlander, WHO, Geneva (+41 79) 689 1332, Jon Lidén, WHO, Geneva (+41 79) 244 6006, Anne Winter, UNAIDS, Geneva, (+41 22) 791 4577, Dominique de Santis, UNAIDS, Geneva, (+41 22) 791 4509 or Andrew Shih, UNAIDS, New York, (+1 212) 584 5012.
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