Article Text

ANTI-RETROVIRAL THERAPY FOR HIV INFECTED MOTHERS AND CHILDREN IN UKRAINE
  1. A Fedchuk1,
  2. L Shitikova1,
  3. T Gridina1,
  4. L Kotlyk2,
  5. V Lysetska2,
  6. O Melnik2
  1. 1I.I. Mechnikov Ukrainian Anti-Plague Research Institute, Odessa, Ukraine
  2. 2State Sanitary-Epidemiological Service of Odesa Region (SSESO), Odessa, Ukraine

Abstract

In 2007, there were about 2.1 million children aged up to 15 years born of HIV-infected mothers and 290,000 children died of AIDS. Ukraine has become the center of the HIV epidemic in Europe, with twice as many newly registered HIV cases as in Western Europe and 14 times as many as in Central Europe. In March 2008, approximately 1.4% of the total adult population was estimated to be HIV positive. 16,678 new cases of HIV infection were registered among children and 98% of infected children were born to HIV-positive mothers. The majority of HIV-positive children live in the Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Odesa and Mykolaiv regions. Ukrainian studies show that 12%–38% of HIV-infected mothers became informed on their positive status only at the time of childbirth. In cases of serum-positive response, the infected woman needs information on the probability of infecting the child during birth and how to avoid transmission after delivery. The provision of such information could decrease the number of HIV-infected children and those who obtain anti-retroviral therapy (ART) will help to diminish the vertical HIV transfer from mother to child. Ukraine has entered the seven countries’ circle, which attempts to provide anti-retroviral therapy for more than 40% of HIV-positive pregnant women. This effort will begin to reduce the number of HIV-positive newborns. During the last five years ART has diminished the virus transfer from mother to child by up to 7.9%. Further studies of the resistance to drugs will increase ART efficacy.

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