Posted by: Indonesian Children | January 14, 2009


  • To prevent the spread of HIV disease, appropriate education on the transmission of the virus is needed. School-based programs and community-based interventions should be emphasized.
    • A focus on abstinence and/or condom use with partner notification is important. Behavioral modification to reduce drug abuse is also critical. Immunizations to prevent the spread of other viruses, such as hepatitis B, can reduce sexual transmission of these additional infections.
    • A focus of prenatal screening and maternal care can assist in preventing babies being born with HIV infection. According to the World Health Organization’s most recent report, transmission from infected mothers to infants can be reduced to just 2% with successful interventions. Unfortunately, these interventions may not be widely available in areas where they are needed most because of high HIV burdens. Without intervention, 20-25% of infants will become infected by vertical transmission from their infected mothers.
  • The prevention of perinatal transmission of HIV by administering zidovudine chemoprophylaxis to pregnant women has made a dramatic impact on lessening the burden of pediatric HIV disease.
    • More and more developing countries are adopting and implementing antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected pregnant women. According to the World Health Organization, as of 2004, more than 100 low- and middle-income countries have established Preventing Mother to Child Transmission programs. Although many mothers are not receiving antiretrovirals at this time, the trend is towards improvement; now, approximately 10% of infected mothers globally receive antiretrovirals.
    • In most the significantly affected area, sub-Saharan Africa, 3 countries have made dramatic strides. Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland have more than doubled their maternal antiretroviral prophylaxis rates from 2004 to 2005.

  • In addition to antiretrovirals, elective cesarian delivery and strict avoidance of breastfeeding can decrease the risk of infant infection to 2%. In developed and industrialized nations, these practices have dramatically reduced the number of new pediatric HIV cases.
    • Vertical transmission of HIV from mother to child is the main route by which childhood HIV infection is acquired; the risk of perinatal acquisition is 25% (see Background and Age). Recent African epidemiologic data of almost 2000 infants indicate that female infants may be more susceptible to HIV infection before birth and continuing after birth compared with male infants.



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