Risk and Reward

Sam Kittner

When Dr. Lynne Mofenson came to the National Institutes of Health in 1989, there were more than 2,000 new pediatric AIDS cases a year reported in the United States. That number is now less than 100 per year. Creating an AIDS-free generation has become a national goal, and Mofenson’s seminal work has helped to almost eliminate the transmission of the HIV virus from mother to child in the United States. 

Mofenson, chief of the Pediatric, Adolescent and Maternal AIDS branch at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, was named the 2012 Federal Employee of the Year for her role in a bold and controversial clinical trial that used AZT to prevent pregnant mothers from passing HIV to their babies.

The clinical trial was the beginning of a long-term collaboration among researchers—called the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group—that conducted a series of successful studies to identify and optimize strategies to block mother-to-child transmission of HIV, the primary way children become infected.

Despite the risks, Mofenson says launching the study was “a no-brainer.”

“It was a horrible disease, killing mothers and babies. We had to do something,” she says.

The clinical trial demonstrated a two-thirds reduction in the risk of HIV transmission from mother to child, down from 25 percent to 8 percent, turning the tide on pediatric AIDS. “We were quite amazed that it worked so well,” says Mofenson, who received her Service to America medal from the Partnership for Public Service. Through U.S. programming and funding to other countries, it is estimated that 200,000 infant HIV infections were prevented last year.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.