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March 16, 1994

Trial Halted After Drug Cuts Maternal HIV Transmission Rate By Two Thirds

JAMA. 1994;271(11):807. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510350007002

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ANOTHER STUDY of the AIDS drug zidovudine has been cut short because of early findings.

Preliminary results of a randomized, controlled trial suggest that the rate of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission from mothers to infants was cut from 25.5% in pregnant women and their infants who received placebo to 8.3% in women and infants treated with zidovudine (Retrovir, commonly called AZT, Burroughs Wellcome, Research Triangle Park, NC).

Based on those preliminary results, the study was halted with less than 60% of the total number of patients originally scheduled to be enrolled. Women in the placebo arm who have not yet given birth are now being offered zidovudine.

"Long-term follow-up of all of the children born to mothers in this study is essential to learn more about the risks and benefits of the treatment beyond these encouraging early results," says Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of

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