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Programmatic Update: Use of Antiretroviral Drugs for Treating Pregnant Women and Preventing HIV Infection in Infants

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English: Web Page


This document summarizes WHO policy on "option B+," or recommending triple combination regimens of ARVs to pregnant women for life. Research suggests that substantial clinical and programmatic advantages can come from adopting a single, universal regimen both to treat HIV-infected pregnant women and to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. This streamlining should maximize PMTCT program performance through better alignment and linkages with antiretroviral therapy (ART) program at every level of service delivery. Option B, takes this unified approach. This document defines a third option (Option B+) suggesting that there are benefits to not only providing the same triple ARV drugs to all HIV-infected pregnant women beginning in the antenatal clinic setting but also continuing this therapy for life. Advantages of Option B+ include: further simplification of regimen and service delivery and harmonization with ART programs, protection against MTCT in future pregnancies, a continuing prevention benefit against sexual transmission to serodiscordant partners, and avoiding stopping and starting of ARV drugs. The recommendation is available in French, English, Portuguese and Spanish from the link provided above.

Related Resources

Publisher: World Health Organization
Language: English
Format: Web Page
Region: Global
Audiences: Doctors/Physicians, Policymakers, Program Managers
Topic Areas: Antiretroviral Treatment & Complications, Perinatal Interventions
Resource Type: Clinical Guidelines