Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in resource-rich and -poor settings

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Abstract

Without prevention, a third of HIV-exposed infants acquire HIV in breastfeeding populations before, during, or after delivery through mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). Whereas MTCT is now a sentinel event in resource-rich countries with antiretroviral prophylaxis, caesarean section, and avoidance of breastfeeding, this is not yet the case in resource-poor settings because breastfeeding is crucial to infant survival. Recent advances in postpartum maternal and infant prophylaxis enables safer breastfeeding, and increasing numbers of women accessing treatment and prevention of MTCT services in sub-Saharan Africa is leading to optimism that MTCT could be eliminated here also, as reflected in the UNAIDS target of 2015.

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