AZT availability in Illinois Birthing Hospitals: Is the Perinatal HIV prevention safety net in place?

Rebecca L. Eary, Ann E Bryant Borders, Arden Handler, Mardge H. Cohen, Patricia M. Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To prevent perinatal HIV transmission, providers must identify HIV status for all women in labor and newborns, and provide timely antiretroviral therapy if necessary. The objective of this study is to evaluate the availability and accessibility of zidovudine (AZT) in Illinois birthing hospitals. Methods: We surveyed all Illinois birthing hospital pharmacies by telephone in February 2005 regarding availability, accessibility, and protocols surrounding AZT use in the perinatal period. Results: All 137 pharmacies participated. Only 43.1% reported having syrup and IV AZT available and only 37.2% indicated the ability to have AZT available on labor and delivery within 30 min during off hours. Protocols for treating HIV positive women in labor and exposed newborns were available in only 37.2% of pharmacies while 72.4% had protocols for antiretroviral therapy for occupational post-exposure prophylaxis. Variables associated with pharmacies having AZT available included being a major academic hospital and serving a predominately (greater than 96%) white patient population. Timely provision of AZT was more likely to occur in urban, major academic hospitals serving a predominately white population. Conclusions: In order to further reduce perinatal HIV transmission, availability and timely access to both syrup and IV AZT must be improved in Illinois birthing hospitals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-318
Number of pages6
JournalMaternal and child health journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • Birthing hospitals
  • Perinatal HIV prevention
  • Zidovudine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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