Sarah Goodwin
Kathi Ovnic
Holly Korschun
October 20, 1998



WHAT: "Reducing the Odds: Preventing Perinatal Transmission of HIV in the United States" The Institute of Medicine's Committee on Perinatal Transmission of HIV will release its final report

WHEN: Wednesday, October 14, 1998, 10:00 a.m (embargoed) Advance copies of the report will be available to news reporters beginning at noon on Tuesday, October 13, 1998. Reporters who wish to obtain a copy or to attend the briefing must register in advance. Contact: Office of News and Information, 202-334-2138

WHERE: The media briefing will be held in Washington, D.C., Room 2004, Foundry Building, 1055 Thomas Jefferson St., N.W.

WHO: Dr. Stephen Thomas, Director of the Institute for Minority Health Research and Associate Professor of Community Health, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, is a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee and will be in Washington, D.C. for the national press conference on Wednesday, Oct. 14. He will be available for comment on the report after noon on Tuesday, Oct. 13. Dr. James Curran, Dean of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and Director of the NIH-designated Emory/Atlanta Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), has been a national leader on the topic of perinatal transmission of HIV, and will also be available for comment on the report.

Substantial success has been achieved within the past few years in reducing the transmission of HIV from mothers to their children through increases in counseling, testing, and antiretroviral drug therapy. Despite this progress, however, more children than necessary continue to be born with HIV infection.

This congressionally mandated Institute of Medicine report evaluates the extent to which states have been successful in reducing the transmission of HIV from mothers to their newborns and analyzes barriers to further reducing the number of pediatric HIV cases. It addresses ways to increase the prevalence of prenatal testing and to improve therapy for HIV-infected women and children, and examines the ethical and public health issues associated with using screening as a prevention tool. The committee is expected to announce significant recommendations to reduce perinatal transmission.

The committee comprises 13 individuals appointed by the Institute of Medicine with expertise in pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, preventive medicine, women's health, social and behavioral sciences, public health practice, epidemiology, bioethics, and public health law. On hand with other committee members at the media briefing will be committee chair Marie McCormick, professor and chair, department of maternal and child health, Harvard University School of Public Health, Boston.


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