A new South African prenatal and neonatal program has lowered the rate of mother-to-child transmission of HIV to 3.5 percent, AllAfrica reports. The rates are dropping thanks to new health department guidelines. Under old programs, mothers and their newborns were given just one dose of the antiretroviral nevirapine. Under the new programs, pregnant women are administered AZT after 14 weeks of pregnancy and then a combination of ARVs during labor. In addition, newborns are given a six-week course of nevirapine syrup. After testing, health officials found that while almost one third of mothers were HIV positive, only 3.5 percent had transmitted the virus to their babies.

To read the AllAfrica article, click here.