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HIV still deadly

By Vision Reporter

Added 11th September 2001 03:00 AM

APRROXIMATELY 20 per cent of all AIDS transmission is from mother to child rather than through sexual

APRROXIMATELY 20 per cent of all AIDS transmission is from mother to child rather than through sexual

APRROXIMATELY 20 per cent of all AIDS transmission is from mother to child rather than through sexual contact. However the risk of mother to child can be cut in half if HIV-positive women take a single dose of the drug nevirapine as they go into labour . Ideally HIV-positive women should also take the drug AZT from 36 weeks into pregnancy up until one week afterwards and avoid breastfeeding their children. It is therefore excellent news that the government has announced that nevirapine will from now on be available to all expectant women free of charge in conjunction with the German company Boeringer Ingelheim. Hopefully this single act will halve the incidence of HIV among children and substantially reduce overall infection rates. At the same time, the cost of treatment for adults using anti-retrovirals has dropped to as low as sh120,000/- per month with the average cost around sh200,000/- per month. HIV and AIDS are still killer diseases but the treatments are improving dramatically. There is light at the end of the tunnel. However this should not be a cause for complacency. Over six per cent of the population, some 1.3 million people, are still infected with HIV and are likely to eventually die of AIDS. If we are not vigilant, those infection rates can start rising again. The way forward remains simple. First of all, get tested to know your sero-status. Thereafter, whether you are positive or negative, love carefully and live healthily. This of course requires personal discipline. No-one should now relax thinking that the new drugs and vaccines have brought a cure for HIV and AIDS. They are still easily caught and deadly.

HIV still deadly

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