News of the WeekAids

Cheap Treatment Cuts HIV Transmission

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Science  12 Feb 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5404, pp. 916-917
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5404.916

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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS-- A large study spanning three African countries, the results of which were presented here last week at the largest annual U.S. AIDS conference, has provided the strongest evidence so far that a relatively cheap and simple drug treatment can reduce the spread of HIV from infected pregnant women to their babies. The so-called PETRA trial also showed that one variant of the treatment is ineffective, a conclusion that the researchers say they could only have reached because they compared three different treatment regimens to a placebo. In 1997, the trial came under attack by critics who called that strategy unethical.