Management of HIV in pregnancy.
In the US, transmission of HIV infection from pregnant women to their infants is now highly preventable. HIV infection is sufficiently common to justify extension of HIV screening to all pregnant women. Once HIV infection is identified, the degree of immunocompromise may be ascertained through evaluation of CD4 cell number and HIV viral load levels. Use of antiretroviral medications can slow progression to AIDS or death, and prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission. Cesarean section plays a role in prevention of vertical HIV transmission in women with virus incompletely suppressed by medication. Simple, safe, and effective methods of preventing mother-to-child transmission are needed for the developing world.
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