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Mother-to-Child Transmission

Many infected with HIV don't have a way of preventing it because they're born with it. Educating mothers and prospective parents about the transfer of AIDS from mother to child is recognized as being crucial in curbing the spread of the disease.

Educating Mothers and Potential Parents
Providing VCT accessibility and services
to HIV-infected mothers and non-infected
prospective parents greatly reduces the
potential for HIV to spread from mother
to child.

These services should ensure that women could choose to know their HIV status, control their own fertility and to take advantage of drug therapy that hinders mother to child HIV transmission.
Care for Pregnant Women
Women who are pregnant and infected with
HIV have some options on how to stop the
spread of the virus to their children. One of
these areas the UN strongly backs is avoiding all breastfeeding for HIV-infected mothers. Choosing replacement feeding is optimal, but it must remain safe, affordable and sustainable for the first months of every
child's life.

Another prevention method for mothers is drug therapy with antiretroviral drugs. There are several current drug therapies such as Zidovudine and Nevirapine that help stop the spread of the virus to the fetus and newborn children.

MTCT-Plus: A World Focus
In 2001, philanthropic foundations from around the world met with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to announce a large-scale funding for a five-year demonstration project in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Called Mother-To-Child Transmission (MTCT) - Plus, the program will seek to expand services for HIV-positive women, including basic care for prevention and treatment with antiretroviral drugs. Keeping HIV infected mothers healthy longer is a key element of caring for children—the longer families are together, the better off are the children.
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