BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- The number of infants born in the United States with HIV infection has declined by 80 percent during the last decade, new research shows.
Experts say the finding, presented Tuesday at the high-profile 14th International AIDS Conference, represents a great success story in the battle to reduce the ravages of the AIDS virus in the United States.
The progress is attributed to increased voluntary HIV counseling and testing of pregnant women and to subsequent anti-AIDS therapy, said one of the study's investigators, Patricia Fleming, a researcher with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study estimated that about 325 American infants were born infected with HIV in 2000, compared with about 1,760 babies in 1991. That translates to a decrease of about 80 percent.
In developing countries where breast-feeding is commonplace, about 30 percent of babies born to HIV positive mothers are infected. In areas where mothers don't tend to breast feed, the rate is about 20 percent.
A similar pattern was seen in the United States before prevention strategies targeting pregnant women were introduced.
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