The risk of mother to child transmission among infant born to women who are HIV positive ranges from 15% to 45%. Effective and timely intervention can bring this rate to below 5%.
At the Mater MCHC clinic pregnant mothers are advised to undergo HIV test as part of the Antenatal profile. The service is provided in the clinic and both pre and post -test counselling is provided.
Transmission to baby could occur while in the uterus, during delivery or from breast milk. When tested positive, a mother is commenced on treatment which lowers the viral load in the body thus reducing the chances of transmission to the baby.
At birth the baby is given drugs for prophylaxis until confirmatory tests are carried out.