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Mother-to-Child Transmission


  • Encourage women to access family planning services. The most effective way to reduce transmission of HIV from the mother to the child is to prevent women from becoming infected with HIV. Access to family planning services and condoms for women and men are critical to prevent HIV transmission.
  • Support pregnant women to seek health services. In some places, pregnancy is the only time when women seek health services. This provides them an important opportunity to receive an HIV test and counseling. If a woman is found to be HIV-positive, she should have access to counseling, and HIV care and treatment.
  • Encourage HIV-positive pregnant women to stick to their drug regimen. A pregnant woman infected with HIV can take antiretroviral drugs to help improve her own health and also reduce the chances of her child becoming infected. The risk of transmitting HIV to infants may be reduced to less than 2 per cent if HIV-positive women strictly adhere to their drug regimen and receive appropriate care and support.
  • Provide HIV-positive mothers with correct information and support. An HIV-positive mother of a newborn should be provided with information and skills to select the best feeding option for her baby (according to the appropriate context). She should receive nutrition and health-care counseling for the newborn and herself, as well as support for having her child tested and treated for exposure to HIV.
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