AIDS conference drafts action plan

UGANDA: AIDS conference drafts action plan

NAIROBI, 18 Sep 2001 (PLUSNEWS) - Delegates at the ongoing Global Strategies for the Prevention of HIV Transmission from Mothers to Infants conference in Kampala had come up with an action plan calling for programmes to eradicate or drastically reduce vertical transmission of HIV from mothers to infants, the ‘New Vision’ newspaper reported on Friday.

The plan - ‘The Kampala Call To Action’ - noted that the major obstacles to preventing HIV infection of infants had been removed. It pointed out that clinical trials had conclusively demonstrated that antiretroviral drugs could reduce mother-to-child transmission by 67 percent. “We call for immediate action for nations to implement countrywide programmes to prevent HIV-infection of infants, to identify HIV-infected women, and to provide treatment for HIV-infected children and mothers,” the statement was quoted as saying.

The newspaper reported that the conference closed with HIV/AIDS experts expressing frustration at what they called a lack of political commitment to stop mother-to-child HIV transmission. Although they acknowledged that social attitudes to HIV testing and breastfeeding were obstacles to reducing such transmission, conference participants said a lack of political will was the major hindrance to preventing babies from contracting HIV/AIDS.


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