Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2007 Jun;12(3):174-81. Epub 2007 Feb 23.


Author information

  • 1Centre for Paediatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Child Health, University College London, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK.


Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) is almost entirely preventable with a combination of interventions--antiretroviral prophylaxis during pregnancy, intrapartum and neonatally, elective caesarean section and avoidance of breastfeeding. In resource-rich settings new paediatric human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) infections have reached an all-time low due to broad application of these interventions, particularly the widespread use of highly active antiretroviral therapy and no breastfeeding. However, most HIV-infected pregnant women live in developing countries where <10% of them have access to preventative interventions. Although MTCT rates in developed countries are now around 1-2%, rates in developing countries remain very much higher. Although the vast majority of infants born to HIV-infected mothers can thus be protected from acquisition of infection, they would then be exposed to antiretroviral drugs for which there is only limited information on toxicity and long-term safety. However, based on current knowledge, the immense benefits of antiretroviral prophylaxis in reducing MTCT risk far outweigh the potential for adverse effects.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center