Programme to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV: some concerns

T K Rajalakshmi


The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) has embarked on an ambitious programme aimed at controlling paediatric AIDS in the country. NACO has reason to believe that HIV prevalence among ante-natal women is more than one per cent in the high-prevalence states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland. The Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission or PMTCT programme is directed at preventing transmission of the virus from pregnant woman to foetus or breast-feeding infant. Feasibility studies involving the use of anti-retroviral (ARV) prophylaxis and therapy are underway with the longer objective of making it a nation-wide programme. NACO estimates that there are 3.86 million HIV-infected persons in the country and 20,304 AIDS cases as of March 2001.

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