How to protect a child from HIV transmission from mother

Transmission of the virus to a child from a mother living with HIV can occur during pregnancy and childbirth, as well as after childbirth during breastfeeding.

In the absence of intervention, the risk of transmitting the infection to mothers living with HIV during pregnancy and childbirth is estimated at 15-30%. Breastfeeding increases the risk of HIV transmission by 10-15%. This risk depends on clinical factors, as well as the mode and duration of breastfeeding.

To date, enormous progress has been made in reducing the number of children born with HIV. Effective antiretroviral therapy during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding can reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV to 5% or less. The key direction of this strategy is to prevent new cases of HIV infection among women of reproductive age in combination with early availability of antenatal care and HIV diagnosis. Women living with HIV are also encouraged to continue lifelong treatment to maintain their own health.

Early diagnosis of newborns is essential to identify their HIV status and increase the effectiveness of prevention and treatment programs. The maximum mortality rate among children infected with HIV is between the ages of six weeks and four months.

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