The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends HIV screening for all pregnant women. If a woman is treated for HIV and takes the appropriate medication during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and provides the medication to her baby for 4 to 6 weeks post-delivery, the risk of transmission of HIV to the baby falls to 1% or less. Because an HIV-positive pregnant woman is able to pass the virus to her child during pregnancy, childbirth, and through breastfeeding, programs targeting this population focus on both the health of the mother and baby in preventing mother-to-child transmission.
Resources to Learn More
HIV and Pregnant Women, Infants, and
Statistics on pregnant women and children with HIV, as well as recommended practices and additional resources to prevent HIV transmission in pregnant women.
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV
Information and resources about the three ways which HIV can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her baby. Includes methods for preventing transmission to protect the health of both mothers and babies, and information about the importance of HIV testing for all women both before and during pregnancy.
Recommendations and practices for pregnant women living with HIV. Includes suggestions to lower or eliminate risk factors for unborn children as well as long term health improvement for mothers.
Organization(s): Office on Women's Health
Perinatal HIV Transmission
This chapter from the AETC Guide for HIV/AIDS in Clinical Care provides techniques for reducing the risk of transmitting HIV during pregnancy from mother to baby. An overview of prevention of perinatal HIV transmission is presented, including use of medications, importance of screening, as well as guidance on HIV education and counseling of pregnant women.
Author(s): Burr, C.
Organization(s): AIDS Education & Training Center Program