HIV and Mother to Child Transmission
In the past mother-to-child transmission of HIV was the cause of death for nearly all of the children that had been diagnosed with the virus before the age of 13. This paper will discuss the causes of mother to child transmission and preventative measures in place to reduce the risk for children with mothers that are HIV positive. Mothers living in third world countries will likely have a much greater risk of transmission because they simply do not have access to the necessary medicines or have knowledge about the virus. HIV can be transmitted before birth by the fetus coming in contact with infected blood, during birth by coming in contact with tears in the uterine walls that have exposed blood and after birth by being breastfed infected milk. Some of the preventative measures a mother can take to reduce the risk of her child being transmitted the virus are to receive a onetime shot of antiretroviral medicine, have a caesarean delivery and to feed the child formula instead of breastfeeding. Background
Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV-1 infection is the major source of HIV infection in infants and young children younger than 5 years. Rollins discusses how “surveillance programs for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV fail to quantify numbers of infant HIV infections averted, often because of poor postnatal follow-up” in his article, Surveillance of mother-to-child transmission prevention programs at immunization clinics: the case for universal screening, (2007). HIV transmission from mother to child during pregnancy, labor and delivery, or breastfeeding is known as perinatal transmission and is the most common route of HIV infection in children (CDC, 2012). In the absence of HIV prevention measures, the rates of MTCT of HIV-1 have been estimated to range from 25% to 48% in breastfeeding populations in resource-poor settings (Kilewo, 2009). Breastfeeding is the most common mode of...
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