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April 14, 2009

Nevada Ends Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission Program

Nevada’s Department of Health and Human Services eliminated its mother-to-child HIV transmission prevention program because of an expected $1.2 million funding deficit to HIV/AIDS related programs in the next year, The Associated Press reports.

“It’s not my daughter’s fault or any other kid’s fault when they’re brought into this world by parents who are screwed up,” says HIV-positive client Adriana Zier, whose daughter, Yordanny, has been receiving treatment through the program. “I can’t imagine how a program that can give innocent children a chance at a normal life can be killed.”

According to the article, the University of Nevada School of Medicine’s $350,000-a-year Nevada Care Program offered antiretroviral drug therapy to HIV-positive expectant mothers and their newborns in an effort to prevent transmission of the virus. Since the program began in 2006, 40 infants have been born to HIV-positive mothers in Clark County, Nevada—none of which has tested positive.

David Gremse, MD, head of the school’s pediatric program, recently asked U.S. Representative Shelly Berkley (D–Nevada) for help in finding funds to continue the program. He believes that keeping the Nevada Care Program would save the state more money than ending it.

Search: Nevada, mother-to-child, Nevada Care Program, infants, Shelly Berkley, David Gremse


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