What are the factors that increase the chance of HIV transmission from mother to infant
When a mother has very high viral load, possibility of transmitting the HIV to the baby is high as well, and this transmission is likely to happen during delivery and labour. Secondly, low CD4 count can promote HIV transmission because it is related to high viral load. Moreover, advanced HIV/AIDS disease is also a predisposing factor for mother-child transmission because the viral load will be high and CD4 cells will be low. Scientists have discovered that smoking during pregnancy is another risk factor for mother-to-child HIV transmission especially in a HIV/AIDS mother. Additionally, use of illicit and recreational drugs contributes to mother-to-child transmission. The drugs include two NRTIs, which are Tenofovir plus lamivudine, or tenofovir plus emtricitabine once daily regimen; or abacavir plus lamivudine once per day regimen (Günthard et al.
Alternatively, protease inhibitor-based regimen can be given, which include atazanavir 300mg plus ritonavir 100mg orally once per day, or darunavir 600mg plus ritonavir taken orally after every 12 hours. Alternatively, an integrase regimen may be given, which include Raltegravir 400mg given after every 12 hours (Günthard et al. Certain ART have teratogenic effects to fetus and cannot be given in pregnancy. However, administering the right ART early in pregnancy is associated with early reduction of viral load and increase in CD4+ cells, hence the chances to transmission form mother-to-child is almost impossible (Cowan et al. Having opportunistic infections may pose serious health outcomes. Therefore, the best technique to prevent these outcomes include taking ART medications as required, not deviating from the dosage and dose frequency, and therefore, keeping viral load so low that it may not be detectable by laboratory tests.
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