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Mother to Child HIV Transmission

HIV Transmissions

Mother to Child HIV Transmission

HIV expert Dr Mary Ann Davies discusses mother to child HIV transmission.

We heard the heart-warming tale of the little HIV positive boy Elvis Blue befriended and who tragically died of AIDS. In South Africa, according to UNICEF, around 300,000 children are born to HIV-infected mothers each year. Close to half of all orphans in the country have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS-related diseases and mother-to-child-transmission is a huge cause of infant and child mortality. With us in studio to educate us on this issue is Deputy Director of the Centre for Infectious Diseases at UCT, Dr Mary Ann Davies.

The transmission of HIV from an HIV-positive mother to her child during pregnancy, labour, delivery or breastfeeding is called mother-to-child transmission. In the absence of any interventions transmission rates range from 15-45%. This rate can be reduced to levels below 5% with effective interventions. The global community has committed itself to accelerate progress for the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) through an initiative with the goal to eliminate new paediatric HIV infections by 2015 and improve maternal, newborn and child survival and health in the context of HIV.

HIV Transmissions

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