Fresh guidelines to cut mother-to-child HIV transmission

According to MDACS, 5.7 per cent of total number of HIV infections occur due to transmission of disease from mothers to their unborn child.

Mumbai: The Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS) has issued fresh guidelines to ensure that HIV-infected pregnant women get their foetus checked early, which may reduce the possibility of transmission of the disease to the unborn child. The guidelines — which were issued recently to hospitals run by the state and civic authorities, NGOs and health posts — seek for awareness campaigns to be initiated at the grass-roots level, ensuring that HIV-infected mothers regularly visit integrated counselling and treatment centres (ICTC).

According to MDACS, 5.7 per cent of the total number of HIV infections occur due to transmission of the disease from mothers to their unborn children.

Mother-to-child transmission of HIV refers to the spread of disease from an infected woman to her child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding (through breast milk). Mother-to-child transmission is the most common way that children become infected with HIV.

The MDACS guidelines mention that infected mothers must regularly visit ICTCs, health posts, NGOs, and civic and state-run hospitals should keep follow up on their cases, and share the results with the expecting mothers.

Talking to The Asian Age, Dr Shrikala Acharya, additional project director of MDACS, said, “Women with HIV, receives medication during pregnancy can reduce the chances of the baby getting infected, but they should approach us within 2-3 weeks of pregnancy.”

“After the delivery, care still needs to be taken. We administer a syrup called Nevirapine so the virus does not affect the baby,” Dr Acharya said.

“After childbirth, if baby is found to be positive a confirmative test is done, and 6-month regular follow-ups are necessary, but we get the confirmed result after one a and a half year,” Dr Acharya added.

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