‘18,000 children infected due to transmission from mothers’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘18,000 children infected due to transmission from mothers’

According to the 2009 National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) report, 18,000 children were infected with HIV due to transmission from their HIV-positive mothers.

mumbai Updated: Dec 01, 2010 01:02 IST
HT Correspondent

According to the 2009 National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) report, 18,000 children were infected with HIV due to transmission from their HIV-positive mothers.

According to Peoples’ Health Organisation, an NGO, several of these infections could have been prevented had proper precautions been taken while dealing with the HIV-positive pregnant women.

Dr IS Gilada, secretary of the NGO, said the NACO report states that only 10% of the 65,000 HIV positive pregnant women were covered under Prevention of Parent-to-Child HIV Transmission programme.

Also, the HIV positive pregnant women received only a single-dose nevirapine, which according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), triggered a resistance to other treatments for both the mother and the child. “There are better drugs and treatments available to prevent such cases,” said Dr Gilada.

According to the NGO, to address this problem better, more effective drug treatments are available today.

“Nevirapine is a cheap drug with less side effects if it is used as a part of treatment of HIV in anti-retroviral therapy (ART). But if it used as a single dose then chances of that person getting resistant to the drug are 57 to 90 per cent,” said Dr Gilada.

The NGO argues that the Centre is on one hand providing new costly drugs as well as nevirapine, a cheap option, as a part of first and second line ART for lifetime. “If the government fails to provide this new possible treatment to them, we will move the Supreme Court,” said Dr Gilada.