AIDS Drugs Cocktail Better Than Single Nevirapine Dose In Newborns

A cocktail of antiretroviral drugs works better than a single dose of nevirapine to prevent HIV infection in newborn babies, researchers said at the 12th Retrovirus Conference here. A single dose of low-cost nevirapine is the treatment of choice in developing countries, above all in Africa, to prevent pregnant women from passing the AIDs virus to their offspring. But nevapirine, made by Germany's Boehrinbleger Ingelheim, is also mired in controversy, in South Africa especially, since the antiretroviral drug can cause a virus mutation that makes women resistant to the drug. In a study presented to the conference Thursday, more than 60 percent of HIV infected pregnant women who received the single dose of nevirapine showed preliminary resistance to the drug. Researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that a cocktail of antiretroviral drugs during several weeks of pregnancy combined with a single dose of nevirapine around delivery has a lower rate of resistance and offers better, low-cost infection protection for the newborn.

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