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Effectiveness of option B highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) in pregnant HIV women.

Ngemu EK, Khayeka-Wandabwa C, Kweka EJ, Choge JK, Anino E, Oyoo-Okoth E.

BMC Res Notes. 2014 Jan 21;7:52.

Tropical Pesticides Research Institute, Division of Livestock and Human Diseases Vector Control, Mosquito Section, Ngaramtoni, Off Nairobi road, PO Box 3024, Arusha, Tanzania. [email protected]





Ensuring that no baby is born with HIV is an essential step towards achieving an AIDS-free generation. To achieve this, strategies that decouple links between childbirth and HIV transmission are necessary. Traditional forms of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV(PMTCT), has been recommended. Recognizing the importance and challenges of combination of methods to achieve rapid PMTCT, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended option B Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) for all HIV-positive pregnant women. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the HAART in PMTCT. A cohort of HIV-infected pregnant women in Kenya were obtained from the DREAM Center, Nairobi. The study participants underwent adherence counselling and Option B of HAART [Nevirapine(NVP) + Lamivudine + Zidovudine] at the fourth week of gestation followed by an intravenous NVP administration intrapartum and postpartum NVP syrup to the respective infants for six weeks. Absolute pre-HAART and post-HAART CD4 counts and viral loads counts were determined. Comparison of the CD4 counts and viral loads before and after administration of HAART were done using Wilcoxon’s Matched Pairs Signed-Ranks Test.


The mean absolute CD4 cell counts in mothers after administration of HAART was significantly higher (Z = 15.664, p < 0.001) than before the administration of HAART). Also the viral load of the mothers significantly (Z = 11.324, p < 0.001) reduced following HAART treatment. Following the HAART administration in mothers, up to 90% of children were confirmed to be HIV negative.


Administration of HAART to mothers and children demonstrated an effective mechanism of PMTCT. However, other aspects ofHAART such as adherence, costs, mothers behaviour during HAART, and the child feeding programme during the therapy should further be evaluated and ascertained how they can affect the overall efficacy of option B HAART in PMTCT.

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mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) in pregnant HIV women.