Frontiers in HIV Research

Volume: 2

Current Studies in HIV Research

Current Studies in HIV Research brings key topics in HIV/AIDS research to the fore by compiling reviews prepared by HIV/AIDS experts. Readers will benefit from the extensive range of topics covered ...
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Reducing Pre-partum and Intra-partum Transmission of HIV to Infants

Pp. 44-55 (12)

Banafsheh Moradmand Badie and Lillian Mwanri

Abstract

The Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is one of the major causes of deaths among women of reproductive age and a significant contributor to high infant mortality rates globally. Mother-to-child transmission occurs when HIV infection is transmitted from an HIV infected mother to her baby in pregnancy, labour, delivery and breastfeeding. Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV is critical to save lives and restrain the impact of the HIV epidemic. Mother-t- -child transmission before, during and after delivery can be the result of HIV transmission in 30-35% of infants of HIV-positive infected mothers. In the past three decades, HIV screening and treatment for pregnant females as well as prophylaxis for perinatal HIV transmission prevention were developed. Because of prenatal HIV counselling and testing, antiretroviral prophylaxis, programmed caesarean sections and evading of breastfeeding, the amount of perinatal HIV transmission has significantly diminished in the world today. The World Health Organization’s protocol recommends the increase of the eligibility of pregnant females with HIV infection to lifelong antiretroviral therapy when possible in order to achieve optimum health outcomes. The main missed opportunity in preventing perinatal HIV infection is a lack of prenatal care. Antenatal HIV counselling comprising testing of pregnant females is an efficient medical intervention that contributes to PMTCT of HIV.

Keywords:

AIDS, Antiviral therapy, HIV, Mother-to-Child Transmission, PMTCT, Prenatal care, Prevention.

Affiliation:

Discipline of Public Health, School of Medicine, Flinders University, South Australia, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, Australia.