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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) ::

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. Elimination of new HIV infections among children can be achieved through the Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT). PMTCT is an intervention to ensure that no child is born with HIV and it is an essential step to ensuring an AIDS free generation. The PMTCT initiative provides drugs, counseling and psychological support to help mothers safeguard their infants against the virus.
Pregnant women infected with HIV are at high risk of transmitting HIV to their infants during pregnancy, during birth or through breastfeeding. Over 90% of new HIV infections among infants and young children occur through Mother to Child Transmission. Without any intervention, the risk of transmission of infection from the mother to the baby is 20-45 percent.

Guidelines for HIV-exposed infants

Treatment for infants

All infants born to HIV-positive mothers should receive a course of treatment as soon as possible after birth. The treatment should be linked to the ARV drug regimen that the mother is taking and the infants feeding method.
  • Breastfeeding
The infant should receive once-daily nevirapine (NVP) from birth for six weeks.
  • Replacement feeding
The infant should receive once-daily NVP (or twice-daily zidovudine (AZT)) from birth for four to six weeks.

Infant diagnosis

Guidelines recommend that all infants who are born to HIV-positive mothers are given an early infant diagnosis via an HIV test at 4-6 weeks old.
Another HIV test should be done at 18 months and/or when breastfeeding ends. This will provide the final infant diagnosis.

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