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Created on : 03 Jan 2009
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Bibliographical entry (without author) :

Antiretrovirals for reducing the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV infection. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 Jan 24;(1):CD003510.Click here to read

Author(s) :

Volmink J, Siegfried NL, van der Merwe L, Brocklehurst P.

Year of publication :


URL(s) :…

Résumé (français)  :

Abstract (English)  :

BACKGROUND: Antiretroviral drugs (ARV) reduce viral replication and can reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV either by lowing plasma viral load in pregnant women or through post-exposure prophylaxis in their newborns. In rich countries, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has reduced the vertical transmission rates to around 1-2%, but HAART is not yet widely available in low and middle income countries. In these countries, various simpler and less costly antiretroviral regimens have been offered to pregnant women or to their newborn babies, or to both.

OBJECTIVES: To determine whether, and to what extent, antiretroviral regimens aimed at decreasing the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV infection achieve a clinically useful decrease in transmission risk, and what effect these interventions have on maternal and infant mortality and morbidity.

SEARCH STRATEGY: We sought to identify all relevant studies regardless of language or publication status by searching the Cochrane HIV/AIDS Review Group Trials Register, The Cochrane Library, Medline, EMBASE and AIDSearch and relevant conference abstracts. We also contacted research organizations and experts in the field for unpublished and ongoing studies. The original review search strategy was updated in 2006.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials of any antiretroviral regimen aimed at decreasing the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV infection compared with placebo or no treatment.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two authors independently selected relevant studies, extracted data and assessed trial quality. For the primary outcomes, we used survival analysis to estimate the probability of infants being infected with HIV (the observed proportion) at various specific time-points and calculated efficacy at a specific time as the relative reduction in the proportion infected. Efficacy, at a specific time, is defined as the preventive fraction in the exposed group compared to the reference group, which is the relative reduction in the proportion infected: 1-(Re/Rf). For those studies where efficacy and hence confidence intervals were not calculated, we calculated the approximate confidence intervals for the efficacy using recommended methods. For analysis of results that are not based on survival analyses we present the relative risk for each trial outcome based on the number randomised. No meta-analysis was conducted as no trial assessed the identical drug regimens.

MAIN RESULTS: Eighteen trials including 14,398 participants conducted in 16 countries were eligible for inclusion in the review.


AUTHORS’ CONCLUSION: Short courses of antiretroviral drugs are effective for reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV and are not associated with any safety concerns in the short-term. A combination of ZDV and 3TC given to mothers in the antenatal, intrapartum and postpartum periods and to babies for a week after delivery or a single dose of NVP given to mothers in labour and babies immediately after birth may be most effective. Where HIV infected women present late for delivery, post-exposure prophylaxis with a single dose of NVP immediately after birth plus ZDV for the first 6 weeks of life is beneficial. The long term implications of the emergence of resistant mutations following the use of these regimens require further study.

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Resumen (español)  :

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Argument (français) :

Argument (English):

Researchers theorized that a course of antiretroviral drugs (ARV) given to pregnant women and their newborn babies could reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission.

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Argumento (español):

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Author of this record :

Bernard Bel — 03 Jan 2009

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