New Delhi: The World Health Organisation (WHO) Wednesday said that HIV/AIDS is still a serious public health problem, although Southeast Asian countries were witnessing a downward trend in new HIV cases.
Regionally, women constitute 37 percent of the 3.5 million people living with HIV/AIDS in Southeast Asia, and without any intervention, about a third of infants born to HIV-positive mothers could acquire the virus."The virus can be transmitted to an infant during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding. However,only one in three HIV-positive women can currently access antiretroviral treatment (ART) in the Southeast Asian region," he said.Widespread implementation of WHO`s new guidelines on the use of ART drugs for treating pregnant women and preventing HIV infection in infants could substantially reduce pediatric HIV and improve maternal and child survival, he added. IANS
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