At the end of 2005, 2.3 million children under the age of 15 years were estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS. The majority of these children acquired their infections as a result of mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy, labour, or breastfeeding. Antiretroviral drugs reduce the viral load and can reduce the rates of mother-to-child transmission. The objective of this review is to determine whether a regimen of antiretroviral drugs would lead to a significant reduction in HIV transmission and maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. The eighteen trials found eligible for inclusion in this review were conducted in 16 countries and included 14,398 participants. The trials compared the use of antiretrovirals versus placebo, longer regimens versus shorter regimens using the same antiretrovirals, and antiretroviral regimens using different drugs and different durations of treatment. This review of trials found that short courses of certain antiretroviral drugs are effective in reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and are not associated with any safety concerns in the short term.
Volmink, J.; Siegfried, N.; van der Merwe, L.; Brockelhurst, P. Antiretrovirals for reducing the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV infection. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2007) (Issue 1) Art. No.: CD003510. [DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003510.pub2]