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Exactly how is HIV transferred from mother to child?
Dec 5, 2001

I realize that hiv can be spread from the mother to the baby during pregnancy or during birth, but I'd like to know exactly how that happens. Is it through the bloodstream? Across the placenta? How does the virus go from mother to child?

Response from Dr. Sullivan

HIV is transmitted from mother to child during the pregnancy, at the time of birth and through breast feeding; during pregnancy virus can be transmitted from mothers blood across the placenta to the fetus, this occurs predominantly in the 2nd and third trimesters and accounts for 0ne third of infections during pregnancy and birth; during labor and delivery the infant is exposed to virus in the vagina and mothers blood[ from episiotomy], virus enters the infant through swallowing or contact with the mucous membranes of the eyes, this mode of transmission accounts for two thirds of the transmissions which occur during pregnancy and delivery; JLS.

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