Reducing Pre-partum and Intra-partum Transmission of HIV to Infants
Pp. 44-55 (12)
Banafsheh Moradmand Badie and Lillian Mwanri
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.
AIDS, Antiviral therapy, HIV, Mother-to-Child Transmission,
PMTCT, Prenatal care, Prevention.
Discipline of Public Health, School of Medicine, Flinders University, South Australia, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, Australia.