quote: MTCT is the greatest cause of transmission (of HIV/AIDS) in children under 15 (...) transmission can occur during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding.
I am attending a Model United Nations conference in the Committee for the Status of Women, with the topic of Reproductive Rights of Women. Knowing more about MTCT is part of my research.
What I need to know, is how to prevent it, or stop it altogether. Can we? Can HIV be detected in a fetus? Can it be stopped if it's detected that early on? If a baby with the possibility of having received MTCT is born without HIV, apart from using formula milk or other sources instead of mothers milk for breast feeding, how else can we stop the baby from getting infected? How is it transmitted during delivery, and can that be prevented with proper care?
I know these are a lot of questions, but any answer would really help me. Thanks in advance!
Posts: 410 | From: Dallas, TX | Registered: Dec 2005
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The best way to prevent vertical transmission of HIV (MTCT) is to give the mother AZT and other antiviral meds before she delivers to lower her viral load, and to give the baby AZT right after it is born.
Without medication, about 1 out of 3 babies born to HIV+ mothers will contract the virus. however, with proper medication and treatment, those chances decrease to almost nothing.
The baby can't be breastfed, but there are agencies that pool extra breastmilk from donor moms to feed the babies (although this issue came up at work today because apparently, it is unclear who should be inspecting these milk banks for safety and hygiene).
Anyway, the real problem is that while vertical transmission of HIV has decreased to a minuscule fraction of a percent in the developed world, in Africa, China and India, the people cannot get the education and medications they need, and the babies wind up getting HIV, then dying of AIDS.
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