The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced this week that the findings from their PROMISE randomized clinical trial shows that taking a three-drug regimen during pregnancy prevents mother-to-child HIV transmission more effectively than taking one drug during pregnancy, another during labor and two more after giving birth.

“This is another important step in our efforts to define the best approaches toward the goal of eliminating of mother-to-child HIV transmission globally,” Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the NIH.

The study enrolled more than 3,500 HIV-infected pregnant or post-partum women who did not meet national criteria for receiving anti-HIV treatment and more than 3,200 HIV-exposed infants of these women in India, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The participating women and children are being followed until two years after the last child is born to address questions about the safety and efficacy of anti-HIV drug regimens taken during the breastfeeding period. The study also is assessing maternal health after the breastfeeding period among women in good immune health who either stop or continue taking triple-drug anti-HIV regimens.