GUWAHATI: The Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART) on HIV positive pregnant women has led to pregnant women giving birth to HIV-negative babies in the state, officials of Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS) claimed here on Tuesday.
The Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission (PPTCT) programme launched by the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) has yielded positive results in Assam.
According to the official figure, 12 per cent of babies born out of HIV-positive pregnant women were found HIV positive in 2011.
The rate came down to 4.8 per cent in 2019-20 after the application of ART.
In 2020-21, it came up to 5 per cent as the ASACS could not take much care of the HIV-positive women due to Covid-19-induced lockdown.
The ASCS has planned to bring down the rate to 2 per cent by 2024.
In 2018-19, one of 190 infants born out of HIV+ women tested HIV positive.
In 2019-20, five of 129 born of HIV positive mothers tested HIV positive. In 2020-21, none among 170 babies born of HIV-positive women tested positive.
When a woman tests positive for HIV during early pregnancy, the first step is to provide her with the mandatory ART. There is a 40 per cent chance of the baby being HIV positive if the mother is not subjected to any medication.
With the application of the Single Drug Regimen (SDR) the chances of HIV transmission is cut by 10 per cent. A pregnant woman is given Nevirapine tablets during labour and Nevirapine syrup to the newborn. Doctors prefer normal delivery for HIV positive pregnant women.
The births of HIV negative babies from HIV positive mothers have been reported from different parts of the state.
Effective application of ART to HIV positive mothers and early detection of the health status of both mother and child can prevent transmission of HIV from the affected mother to the baby.
"Pregnant HIV positive mothers were regularly counselled at the centres. Their babies tested HIV negative and were monitored daily. They will again be tested at regular intervals," the official said.