Lungiswa Nkonki, of the Medical Research Council, Tygerberg, South Africa, worked with colleagues from University of the Western Cape (UWC), Health Systems Trust and the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, USA, on the study.
The study's qualitative research with women who had participated in the public sector PMTCT programme revealed critical failures, not only in testing expectant mothers for HIV and giving them the results of the test, but also in a lack of intervention to help protect the unborn child from infection. A 50% reduction in transmission of HIV from mother to child is possible with the use of the drug, nevirapine, but this is not being administered routinely.
The research team interviewed 58 HIV-positive women in South Africa and collected detailed information about their experiences of antenatal care. They also investigated whether or not there were missed opportunities for participation in prevention of mother-to-child transmission programs.
Fifteen of the interviewees missed out on nevirapine, not because of the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, nor ignorance, but because of health systems failures, say the researchers. Of the 15 women, six women were not tested for HIV during antenatal care. Two who were tested received no results and seven were tested and received results but did not receive Nevirapine.
"Health Systems failures within these programme ranged from non-availability of counsellors, supplies such as HIV test kits, consent forms, health staff giving the women incorrect instructions about when to take the tablet and health staff not supplying the women with the tablet to take," the researchers say.
Nkonki and colleagues make two simple suggestions. First, HIV testing should be strengthened to enable access to preventative interventions. Secondly, a combination of two or three antiretroviral drugs starting during pregnancy and continuing for one week after delivery should replace the single dose regimen to improve uptake as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
AIDS Research and Therapy is an open access, online journal that publishes peer-reviewed research articles from scientists working to prevent the spread of AIDS. AIDS Research and Therapy aims to publish basic science as well as clinically important research articles that impact on abating the spread of AIDS. This multidisciplinary journal aims to keep scientists and clinicians abreast of the latest research on HIV-1.
BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com) is a UK-based independent online publishing house committed to providing open access to peer-reviewed biological and medical research. This commitment is based on the view that immediate free access to research and the ability to freely archive and reuse published information is essential to the rapid and efficient communication of science.
BioMed Central currently publishes over 180 journals across biology and medicine. In addition to open-access original research, BioMed Central also publishes reviews, commentaries and other non-original-research content. Depending on the policies of the individual journal, this content may be open access or provided only to subscribers.
Charlotte Webber | alfa
Routing gene therapy directly into the brain
07.12.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital
New Hope for Cancer Therapies: Targeted Monitoring may help Improve Tumor Treatment
01.12.2017 | Berliner Institut für Gesundheitsforschung / Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences
11.12.2017 | Information Technology