Category: HIV During Pregnancy

Winning The Fight Against Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission

Countries all over Sub-Saharan Africa have built a strong foundation in the fight against HIV

Not so long ago, HIV/AIDS was presumed to be a disease that could never be stopped. It hit so hard and so fast that the first crucial moments, when much could have been done, were not taken advantage of. By the time it was recognized as an pandemic too many people had already been infected. And then, the next generation started feeling the effects too, when children became infected via mother-to-child-transmission (MTCT). The hardest hit countries were almost all here in Sub-Saharan Africa, where it was thought that there was absolutely no hope of winning the fight against HIV/AIDS. Read More

HIV: Death by Stigma

A number of publications are suggesting that at least 25% of those living with HIV/AIDS are unaware that they are infected. In the Third World, the decision to avoid confirmation is primarily driven by the fear of being abandoned or beaten. Lack of any cure or consistent health care further diminishes incentive to seek out diagnosis. Ostracization and violence against women with HIV/AIDS are commonplace. In the largely patriarchal societies, the generally accepted thinking is that women are to blame for spread of infection. Thus, with little recourse against her husband, an infected wife lacks the incentive to draw any attention to herself. Read More

HIV In Pregnancy: An Overview

In some countries, HIV infections have become one of the most common medical complications during pregnancy. More than 90% of HIV infections in children are caused by mother-to-child transmission. This amounts to 1,000 children becoming infected with HIV every day1.

Africa has been the centre of the mother-to-child HIV transmission epidemic. A rapid rise in infection rates has also been seen across South East Asia. Sources suggest that the rate of transmission of HIV from mother to child can be as high as 30% in the absence of treatment2, and can occur during three different stages of pregnancy:

  1. Within the uterus (Very low chance. This is affected by mother’s overall health)
  2. During labor and delivery (15%-30% chance2)
  3. Post partum through breastfeeding. (5%-20% chance2)

Read More

Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS

Between the birthing process and breastfeeding, it is thought that as many as 25-35% of HIV infected women will pass HIV to their babies.1 Considering that there are at least 10 million HIV infected women in Africa, this is a crippling statistic and should be seen as entirely unacceptable in this day and age.2 In North America, the CDC estimates that there are over one million Americans living with HIV with one in five of those people unaware that they are infected and carriers.3 Assuming that half of this population of one million are women, and many of these are of child bearing age, Mother-to-Child transmission (MTCT) is very much a global health issue, not just a Developing Country one. Read More

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