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Transmission of HIV from mother to baby can occur during pregnancy or during delivery. However, there are several ways that can be done to prevent HIV transmission from HIV-positive mothers to their babies
In addition to during pregnancy or during childbirth, HIV transmission from mother to baby can also occur during breastfeeding. However, the risk of transmitting HIV to the baby through breast milk is smaller.
Infants and children infected with HIV are more at risk of experiencing various he alth problems, ranging from infections, malnutrition, to developmental disorders.
Therefore, it is important for every pregnant woman with HIV positive status to prevent HIV transmission to her baby. This preventive step can be done by regularly taking HIV drugs since before pregnancy, during pregnancy, until before delivery.
How to Prevent HIV Transmission to the Fetus
If the preventive steps are taken correctly and according to the doctor's instructions, the risk of HIV transmission from mother to baby can be reduced by up to 1%. On the other hand, without treatment, pregnant women who are HIV positive have a 5–25% chance of transmitting HIV to their babies.
Various steps to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV can be done in the following ways:
- Consult your obstetrician to determine the method of delivery, namely caesarean section or normal delivery
- Undergoing combination antiretroviral therapy or highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) during pregnancy
- Not giving breast milk to babies
In addition, doctors will also give antiretroviral drugs to babies born to HIV-positive mothers to prevent HIV transmission.
If the mother with HIV has received regular treatment until the HIV virus is no longer detectable in the blood through a viral load test, the normal delivery process can be considered again.
However, doctors will usually still recommend a caesarean section to minimize the risk of HIV transmission, especially if the mother has not previously undergone combination therapy and the virus is still detectable in the blood.
Rules for Taking HIV Drugs Safely
It is important to take HIV drugs to reduce the amount of HIV virus and reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to the fetus.
However, you still need to consult a doctor regularly, because some types of HIV drugs can cause side effects on the fetus, such as impaired fetal growth and development in early pregnancy.
After the baby is born, the doctor will check the baby's condition and conduct an examination to detect the presence of the HIV virus in the baby's body. This examination is carried out within 48 hours after birth and will be carried out again 6-12 weeks from the first examination.
If you have HIV and are currently undergoing a pregnancy program or are already pregnant, it is recommended that you regularly consult with your obstetrician to determine the right HIV treatment.
By undergoing treatment according to the doctor's recommendations, it is hoped that the amount of HIV virus in the mother's body can be reduced and the risk of transmitting HIV from mother to baby can be reduced.