Seeking a formula to protect infants from AIDS
August 4, 2004
BY SANDRA GUY SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST
"Researchers are fighting two unfortunate realities in their efforts to stop AIDS in Africa. First, the ravages of disease there have become too routine to make the daily news headlines. About 70 percent of the world's 40 million people living with HIV/AIDS and 90 percent of the world's HIV/AIDS-infected children live in sub-Saharan Africa. Second, most medical products aimed at fighting AIDS, including vaccines, condoms and therapeutic drugs, must be given away to the poor in Africa. There's no profit potential from developing and making free products, and thus no interest from venture capitalists. Undaunted, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago are pursuing a potential solution to the problem of AIDS being transmitted by infected mothers to their infants during breast-feeding. The problem is critical in sub-Saharan Africa because most women cannot afford infant formula, and even if they could, many infants fed formula have died because of contaminated water."