July #37 : Baby Dolls

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Table of Contents

The Good Doctor

Dying for a Vaccine

Ashok to the System

Banking on Disaster

International Dream Team 1998

Not Your Average Joe


To the Editor

Conference Call

Poz Picks

AIDS Is Over

Mourning Star


Penny Wose, Pound Foolish

River Runs Dry

In the Blood

Nine Lives

Off the Shelf

Power Nutrients

Saved by the Cell

Time Warp

Catch Air!

Urine Luck

External Affairs

HIV, Sir!

Phone Sex

Germs in Sperm

Autograph Book

Baby Dolls

No Needles

Strike a Pose

CPR for HAART Failure

Salvadoran Savior

POZ Index

Indelicate Balance

Mistruths and Consequences

Positive Planet

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

email print

July 1998

Baby Dolls

Glaxo Wellcome slashes cost of AZT in Third World

A Thailand study by the CDC and UNAIDS revealed that a shorter-than-usual course of AZT—in the last four weeks of pregnancy and during labor—cut the risk of mom-to-infant HIV transmission by 50 percent. The results, though not as dramatic as the 70 percent reduction with the longer, more costly course reported by a 1994 U.S. study, offer a feasible alternative for developing countries—where 90 percent of HIV infections occur. The shorter version costs about $80 per woman; the prolonged course about $800.

Due to the trial’s success, officials from the CDC, UNAIDS and the National Institutes of Health recommended that placebo use—a controversial practice slammed by many as unethical—be halted in all six mother-to-child transmission studies worldwide. “This confirms what we’ve been saying for a year—that some short regimen would be better than nothing,” said Dr. Peter Lurie, research associate at Public Citizen's Health Research Group. “If the CDC had paid heed, we wouldn’t have dozens of infected infants.”  

After an activist uproar, Glaxo Wellcome slashed the cost of AZT for pregnant women with HIV in developing countries—the first time a large drug company has discounted the price of an AIDS med to get it to hard-hit regions. The company also announced it will consider chopping the price of 3TC if that med proves similarly effective.

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