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Mothers who don't receive a positive HIV test until they have given birth may be at increased risk for spreading the infection to their children. While there are medications that can prevent this situation, many women don't begin taking them until it is too late.
However, a team of researchers from the National Institutes of Health recently reported that they may have found a new drug that could prevent HIV from developing in newborns whose mothers were infected with the virus but did not receive treatment.
The newly discovered medication is added to standard neonatal care for children who were born to HIV-positive mothers. The researchers reported that when it is administered, it reduces the chances that the child will go on to develop the full condition by up to 50 percent.
Between 100 and 200 children develop HIV each year after being born to a mother who was unaware that she was infected. The researchers said that their findings could effectively eliminate this tragedy from happening.
While the drug may help, the most effective way for women to ensure that they are not spreading infections to their offspring is to get an HIV test before becoming pregnant.
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