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J Obstet Gynaecol. 2004 Apr;24(3):266-9.

Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV at Maiduguri, Nigeria.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Nigeria.


The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can be transmitted vertically through the placenta in utero, during labour and delivery and through breast milk. In Nigeria, about 5.8% of women attending antenatal clinics were HIV infected as of December 2002. It was projected that by the end of the year 2002, there were about 849,000 orphans resulting from AIDS and about 755,000 established paediatric AIDS in this country. Interventions to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV include voluntary counselling and testing (VCT), administration of antiretroviral drugs (ARV), modification of obstetric practices and infant feeding options in HIV infection. Over the period July 2002-June 2003, 262 pregnant women received VCT at the antenatal clinic of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, and 207 (79%) agreed to be tested. Thirty-one (11.8%) were HIV positive. The majority of the HIV positive mothers received nevirapine in labour while 35% had combination ARV drugs in pregnancy. All the infants received nevirapine suspension within 72 hours of delivery. Expensive and slow testing facilities, insufficient and inconsistent counsellors, lack of ARV drugs for both mother and baby as well as unaffordable caesarean delivery were some of the constraints being faced at this centre. It is recommended that the governments at various levels should show more commitment to the programme of preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

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