Placeholder canvas
Igniting Ideas For impact

Embarking on a transformative journey through six chapters, we traverse India's landscape, exploring pioneering startups and their revolutionary...

4 months

Babies of HIV Positive Mothers Are Now Completely Risk Free; This 3-drug System Works Wonders

Babies of HIV Positive Mothers Are Now Completely Risk Free; This 3-drug System Works Wonders

A three-drug system introduced to India in 2014 has finally paid off in reducing mother-to-baby risk of transfer to zero. In Mumbai, a 100 HIV positive mothers gave birth to healthy babies free of the disease.

Gone are the days when HIV positive couples could only dream of having children. Innovations in medical science today has made giving birth to HIV negative babies a reality in India.

For instance, in Mumbai, the J J Hospital reported that 100 of its HIV positive mothers gave birth to perfectly healthy babies since March 2014. The hospital reports that the 100% reduction in the mother-to-baby transmission of the disease was possible because of a three-drug program that was introduced in 2014. The three drugs, Tenofovir, Lamivudine and Efavirenz, are administered daily in the form of a single tablet to be taken every night by pregnant mothers.

The Union Ministry of Health implemented the Option B+ plan, an initiative of the World Health Organisation, in March 2014, in which mothers are put on a lifelong anti-HIV course soon after finding out about their pregnancy.

Children have a 45% risk of contracting the disease from their mothers during pregnancy, and up to 25% during breastfeeding.

Representational image only. Source:
Representational image only. Source:

Previously, mothers were given a single dose of a tablet called Nevirapine, which helped to reduce the risk of transmission during 2001-02. However, there was a chance that the mothers developed resistance to the drug, and studies found that at least 11% children born to these mothers still contracted the virus in India.

The three-drug combination brought down this risk to a complete zero. The mothers can now also confidently breastfeed their babies without fears of spreading the virus.

This phenomenal success could help the 36,000 HIV positive women who get pregnant in India every year to finally be free from the fear of spreading the disease to their children.

The World Health Organisation introduced the Option B+ plan to reduce the viral load in the mother’s body. This includes putting all HIV positive pregnant women on antiretroviral therapy for life. It’s a highly beneficial move because it reduces drug intake to just one tablet, and ensures that future pregnancies are also risk-free.

Like this story? Or have something to share? Write to us:, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter (@thebetterindia).

We bring stories straight from the heart of India, to inspire millions and create a wave of impact. Our positive movement is growing bigger everyday, and we would love for you to join it.

Please contribute whatever you can, every little penny helps our team in bringing you more stories that support dreams and spread hope.

Support the biggest positivity movement section image Support the biggest positivity movement section image

This story made me

  • feel inspired icon
  • more aware icon
  • better informative icon
  • do something icon

Tell Us More

Sign in to get free benefits
  • Get positive stories daily on email
  • Join our community of positive ambassadors
  • Become a part of the positive movement