What is the mode of maternal transmission to her fetus?
Jan 13, 1997
What is the mode of maternal transmission of HIV to her infant? Does HIV cross the placental barrier or does transmission occur during the trauma of the birth process? If it occurs from birth trauma, would C-section be of benefit in reducing transmission?
Response from Mr. Sowadsky
Hi. Thank you for your question.
An infected mother can transmit the virus to her baby one of three ways. First is during pregnancy itself, since the virus can pass through the placenta, and go directly into the fetus. Second, transmission could occur during delivery, since the baby is being directly exposed to the blood of the mother. Third, the virus can be transmitted from mother-to-child during breastfeeding.
Without any type of medical intervention, the chances of the virus being transmitted from mother to child is about 25%. With medical intervention, we can reduce that risk to about 8%. This intervention includes giving the mother AZT and other drugs during pregnancy, and treating the newborn baby with AZT and other drugs, immediately after the baby is born.
Because a Cesarean section (C-section) also exposes the baby to a lot of blood, there has been no documented benefit of doing a C-section, rather than a vaginal delivery. The only means we have seen so far that reduces mother-to-child transmission is by drug therapy, as discussed above. It is because of this effective drug therapy that we now strongly recommend HIV testing for all pregnant women.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
- When You Get Hiv When Do The Flu-like Symptoms Happen?
- How Long After Exposure Does It Take Hiv To Show Up In Blood Test?
- Vision Problems With Hiv
- Whats The Percentage Chance Of A Man Getting Hiv From A Woman?
- How Long Does It Take For Hiv To Transmit?
- I Am Hiv Postive I Feel Tired All The Time
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.