Prevent Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission: WHO Advice

Each year more than 400,000 infants are infected HIV from their mothers. Most of the time, the mothers were not even aware that they had contracted HIV, and inadvertently passed it on to their child.

Now, the World Health Organization, known as WHO, is pressuring HIV positive women to receive antiretroviral drugs that will help protect against the transmission of the virus during pregnancy, delivery or breast feeding.

Pregnant women with the virus run the very high risk of passing the virus that causes AIDS onto their children. There are a number of treatments that are effective, and if the mothers begin on them early, they should be able to prevent the transmission of the disease. Experts have claimed that early treatment greatly reduces the risk to the infant.

Of course, in order to receive the treatment, mothers first must know that they do indeed have HIV. If they do, they will likely be given antiretroviral drugs to protect the fetus. Their babies also need to be tested early on in the process to ensure that the mother has not already transmitted HIV to the child.

“If a child who has HIV is not put on treatment right away, half of them will be dead by the age of two,” said one doctor. “So it is very, very important that children born of HIV mothers – even if it’s not clear they are positive or negative – it’s very clear that they be tested.”

Hopefully WHO releasing information about the subject will raise awareness and will help mothers to protect their children from transmission of the HIV virus.

Leave a Comment