Mother-to-child transmission


Vertical transmission of HIV can be prevented and/or reduced through a series of interventions at primary health care level. Primary prevention encompasses the availability of sexual health and family planning services for women of childbearing age, in addition to access to safe abortions for pregnant women living with HIV/AIDS. Secondary prevention ideally includes full antiretroviral (ARV) therapy for HIV-positive pregnant women who decide to maintain their pregnancies, as well as for their babies, and access to safe alternatives to breastfeeding. At a minimum, every country should be able to provide short-term ARV treatment that is known to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV in the perinatal period.