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Essay on Prevention Of Hiv Transmittance To Babies

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Prevention of HIV Transmittance to Babies

Last year, it was cause for celebration. The cause of celebration was for the results that several clinical trials of zidovudine cut the risk for mother to child transmission of human immune deficiency virus (HIV) by two thirds.
Although, this year, it is the basis for new federal recommendations that all pregnant women should receive HIV testing and counseling. But, these findings have been cause of protests by several activist groups. Activists fear that conservative legislators and policy makers will use the clinical data to justify mandatory testing and treatment for pregnant women.

During the latter part of February, the United States Public Health Services published guidelines for HIV
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The center for Disease control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA. reports that as of December 31, 1994, there were 58,448 women with AIDS in the United States.
Nearly one fourth of the total were reported in 1994 alone. AIDS is now the fourth leading cause of death in US women ages 25 to 44 and in 15 major United
States cities.

In 1993, the CDC estimated that 7,000 HIV infected women gave birth in this country, in other words, about one in every 625 women who gave birth that year was HIV positive. The rate of mother to child transmission rate ranged from 15% to 30%, which is estimated that there were as many as 2,000 HIV infected infants born in the United States in 1993. Much of the controversy centers on AIDS
Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) protocol 076. In the 2 year study, 239 of the 477
HIV infected women enrolled received AZT during pregnancy and delivery. Their infants received the drug for six weeks. At 18 months, 8.3% of the infants in the treatment group vs. 25.5 % of the controls were infected. "Evidence based on every analysis that has been done of the outcomes to date shows that this is a prevention breakthrough," said Wanda Jones, DrPH, acting associate director of
CDC's office of Women's Health.

Activists believe that the data is incomplete and should not be used as the
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