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Timing Is Everything in Preventing HIV Spread From Mom to Baby

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And most American women infected with the virus start receiving treatment quite early just to preserve their own health, she tells WebMD. "But for women who came into treatment late, these results, combined with those of other trials, suggest that even if you don't start treatment until 36 weeks, there's a benefit to it. In that case, giving the baby the full course of treatment is really important." Most newborns in the U.S. are given AZT for the first six weeks of life, according to Handelsman. McIntosh doubts that the standard of care will be changed much anytime soon.

He says, "It's not going to be looked at in this country. If six weeks works, no one is going to ask, 'what can I get away with?'" However, if price, convenience, or side effects of AZT ever became treatment issues, that might change, he adds.

 

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