UAB Logo A study claims that women who received that HIV prevention drug, nevirapine, to guard their fetus must not use an HIV-drug regimen that seems to include nevirapine for at least one year following childbirth. At least this is what scientists from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) claims.

A new UAB study discovered that while nevirapine functions well to avert mother-to-child HIV transmission, a single dose of nevirapine in contaminated pregnant women may activate resistance to a few types of the AIDS-drug cocktail called combination antiretroviral treatment (ART). This nevirapine-induced resistance appears to weaken after around 12 months and no longer thwarts ART.

Single-dose nevirapine is said to be extensively utilized to put off mother-to-child transmission of HIV, an infection that is believed to affect over 30 million people internationally and may result in more than 2 million AIDS-related deaths every year.

The UAB study encompassed roughly 878 infected women in Zambia, Cote d’Ivoire and Thailand. A few received single-dose nevirapine and others did not. Every subject supposedly received ART instantly upon confirmed infection and was checked for a year.

UAB Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology Jeffrey S.A. Stringer, M.D., the study’s lead author, commented, “This study shows that women who need treatment more than 12 months after using nevirapine to prevent mother-to-child transmission safely can use standard first-line treatments in their countries. Women who need treatment sooner than that should use a combination that does not contain nevirapine, typically an ART regimen that contains protease-inhibitor drugs.”

Nevirapine apparently carries on being the backbone of anti-HIV therapy in the developing world. Moreover, its value in averting mother-to-child transmission is said to be established in the new study.

The findings were published in PLoS Medicine, a journal of the nonprofit Public Library of Science.