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Babies born to women infected with both HIV and malaria have a significantly greater chance of contracting HIV, according to a new study.

A report in the November issue of AIDS states that HIV-infected pregnant women in Uganda’s Rakai district had almost three times the risk of transmitting HIV to their babies if the malaria parasite had infected their placentas. The study found that of 15 babies whose mothers had placental malaria, 40 per cent became infected with HIV.

The authors conclude that trials are now needed to see whether giving HIV-infected mothers-to-be a malaria prophylaxis could reduce the transmission of HIV to their babies.

Link to article in Science

Reference: Science, 302, 1311 (2003)

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