HIV-cured baby brings new focus on Promise
The attention of the medical fraternity is now riveted on reports of a baby girl getting ‘functionally cured’ of HIV in Mississippi, the success being attributed to high doses of anti-retrovirals administered within hours of her birth. Even as it brought the focus back on an aggressive approach to preventing mother-to-child transmission of the virus, an ambitious trial is under way at Pune’s B J Medical College that may well spell out a revision of the national guidelines to combat the disease.
India is ranked 10 in the annual global burden of HIV-infected pregnant women and children. Among the targets to be achieved by 2015 is bringing new HIV infections to zero, and strategies have been designed to look for the best way to prevent mother-to-child transmission.
Researchers at B J Medical College, the only trial site in India, has enrolled 104 mother-infant pairs for the ‘promoting maternal-infant survival everywhere (PROMISE)’ study.
Dr Vidya Mave, Director of Clinical Trial Unit (CTU) at B J Medical College told The Indian Express that the study aims at finding ways to make sure the HIV-infected mother and the HIV-exposed baby stay as healthy as possible from birth and beyond weaning (when they start on solid food). “The study will identify the optimal therapy to prevent mother-to-child transmission as well as optimal therapy for preservation of health of mothers and infants, and
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