Preventing Mother To Child HIV Transmission

pregnant black woman( — In a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of children under 13 living with AIDS who were infected by their mothers, 66% were African Americans. This sobering 2005 statistic illustrates a huge problem in the African American community with regard to pregnant HIV-positive women accessing drugs.

In the United States, the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV is less than 2% with proper antiretroviral treatment and care. Nevertheless, the lack of access to medical services for an HIV-positive woman during pregnancy or labor can greatly increase the risk of infecting her child. Here’s what you need to know in preventing mother-to-child transmission:

• Mother-to-child transmission is the most common way children become infected with HIV.
• A woman can pass HIV to her baby while pregnant, during labor or through breastfeeding.
• Today, most pregnant women get an HIV test as part of their prenatal care.