"); NewWindow.document.close(); return false; }

Inexpensive antibiotic offers hope to HIV positive kids
Tuesday 20 September 2005
Home About PlusNews Country Profiles News Briefs Special Reports Subscribe Archive IRINnews
 

Regions

Africa
East Africa
Great Lakes
Horn of Africa
Southern Africa
·Angola
·Botswana
·Comoros
·Lesotho
·Madagascar
·Malawi
·Mauritus
·Mozambique
·Namibia
·South Africa
·Swaziland
·Zambia
·Zimbabwe
West Africa
RSSyndication
RSS - News Briefs

Features

PlusNews E-mail Subscription
 

ZAMBIA: Inexpensive antibiotic offers hope to HIV positive kids


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]



©  IRIN

A glimmer of hope to millions of HIV infected children

JOHANNESBURG, 19 November (PLUSNEWS) - Zambian health experts on Friday heralded the results of clinical trials showing that a widely available antibiotic drug could dramatically cut AIDS-related deaths in children.

The trials, conducted in the capital, Lusaka, between 2001 and 2003, were backed by the UK's Department for International Development to test co-trimoxazole, which was given to 540 HIV positive children over a period of nearly 20 months.

The programme was stopped early when it became clear that substantially fewer children on the antibiotic were dying. Across the globe around 1,300 children die from HIV/AIDS illnesses every day.

According to paediatric specialist Dr Ganapati Bhat at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, after 19 months, 74 (28 percent) of the children on co-trimoxazole had died, compared with 112 (42 percent) of those on a placebo. The antibiotic had proven effective against respiratory opportunistic infections associated with HIV infection.

"It was quite obvious that the children who had been administered the antibiotic were doing better than those on the placebo. We immediately decided to put all the children on preventative co-trimoxazole, and those who needed antiretroviral therapy are starting it," he told PlusNews.

It was the first time the low-cost, readily available antibiotic had been tested as a preventative medicine in a large study of children with HIV.

Bhat said co-trimoxazole had the advantage of being cheap and widely available, whereas antiretroviral (ARV) drugs were more expensive, but cautioned that the antibiotic was not intended to replace ARVs and the two should be used in tandem.

Dr Chifumbe Chintu, a principle clinician at the University Teaching Hospital, said: "This will provide a great relief to many African governments who are struggling to provide millions of children with HIV care. It is recommended that any child who has been exposed to HIV is provided with co-trimoxazole prophylaxis and nutritional support, until they test positive for the virus."

[ENDS]




 
Recent ZAMBIA Reports
Community benefits from free ARVs,  13/Sep/05
Agencies step in to address HIV/AIDS in prisons,  5/Sep/05
Civic groups call on MPs to be more proactive in HIV/AIDS fight,  1/Sep/05
HIV/AIDS affecting quality of education,  2/Jun/05
Community group project funds ARVs,  30/May/05
Links
AIDS Media Center
Le portail d'informations générales de la Côte d’Ivoire
VIH Internet
Sida Info Services
Aides

PlusNews does not take responsibility for info in links supplied.


[Back] [Home Page]

Click here to send any feedback, comments or questions you have about PlusNews Website or if you prefer you can send an Email to Webmaster

Copyright © IRIN 2005
The material contained on www.PlusNews.org comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian news and information service, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies.
All PlusNews material may be reposted or reprinted free-of-charge; refer to the IRIN copyright page for conditions of use. IRIN is a project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.