AIDS or HIV can not spread easily. HIV does not spread from mosquito bite, insect bite, coughing or sneezing, swimming in the same pool or sharing household items. HIV/AIDS can only get spread through infected blood transfusion or unprotected sex or from a mother to a child during childbirth or even from infected breast milk. Spread of HIV/AIDS from a mother to a child during pregnancy or childbirth is called vertical transmission of HIV/AIDS. A baby gets infected by having its mothers breast milk if the woman is HIV+.
About 25% of the babies in the world are infected with HIV or AIDS. Facts show that rate of transmission of children born to infected mothers during the period April 2003 to March 2005 is close to 40%. Most of the women never know that they were HIV infected before their pregnancy. And that vertical or prenatal transmission of HIV is preventable. Breastfeeding also increases the risk of vertical transmission of HIV/AIDS. The infected women are suggested not to breast feed any child after 1 month. HIV+ can become pregnant and not pass the infection to her baby with proper knowledge and use of HIV medicines like antiretroviral drug containing Retrovir (AZT) during the last six months of pregnancy. A caesarean section of delivery is a better option compared to vaginal delivery to safeguard the child from vertical transmission of HIV/AIDS from its mother because the process is quick and the child is less exposed to infected fluids.
Since 1985 research on vertical transmission on HIV/AIDS from infected mothers are being conducted in different laboratories. Vertical transmission of AIDS/HIV has significantly declined since 1990 mainly because of treatment of HIV+ pregnant women with anti virus drug called Zidovudine. A team of scientists from USA and Uganda has shown that the use of AIDS drug Nevirapine to both child and mother during delivery reduces vertical transmission of HIV/AIDS.
The risk of transmission of HIV/AIDS from a mother to child can be reduced to 2% if a woman is conscious and takes all the necessary HIV meds at appropriate times of her pregnancy. However the risk of vertical transmission of HIV/AIDS is very low in developed countries than developing countries, the highest being Sub-Saharan Africa.
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