Background: China has implemented a nation-wide policy to control mother-to-child
transmission (MTCT) of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) since 2011, yet the efficacy of
the control policy is less studied. The aim of the present study was to report the data in the prevention
of MTCT of HIV in Nantong city, China.
Methods: The screening and prevalence of HIV in pregnant women and the efficacy of prophylaxis
in Nantong city, China, January 2012 through December 2018, were analyzed.
Results: Among a total population of 410,044 pregnant women, anti-HIV was tested prenatally in
393,658 (96.0%) women and in 16,287 (3.97%) women at delivery. In total, 51 women were confirmed
with HIV infection. After the exclusion of repeat pregnancies, the overall prevalence of
HIV infection was 1.20/10 000 (48/400,377). The prevalence (6.75/10,000) in women tested at delivery
was >5-fold higher than that (1.02/10,000) in prenatally screened women. Of 48 HIV-infected
women, 12 terminated their pregnancies and 36 others delivered 36 neonates, of whom 35 were
followed up. No HIV infection occurred in 24 children born to mothers with antiretroviral therapy
(ART) during pregnancy along with other preventive measures. Among 11 children born to
mothers who did not receive ART during pregnancy because of the absence of a prenatal anti-HIV
test, none of the 6 children who were delivered by cesarean section and timely administered neonatal
antiretroviral prophylaxis was infected, but 2 (40%) of 5 children who were spontaneously delivered
and administered delayed antiretroviral prophylaxis were infected.
Conclusion: Prenatal identification of HIV infection and timely administration of all preventive
measures can completely block MTCT of HIV. The data indicate that more efforts must be taken to
ensure that all pregnant women are tested for anti-HIV during pregnancy. For pregnant women
who missed the prenatal screening, a positive result in rapid anti-HIV test at delivery should be sufficient
to take preventive measures to prevent MTCT of HIV.