Background:Between 34 and 46 million people are today infected with HIV. The majority of these are living in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2003 almost 1 million children were infected,predominantly from their mother during pregnancy, labor or through breastfeeding.
Objectives:This paper reviews interventions for reducing the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV-infection in developing countries.Method:We have mainly used the Cochrane Library, Pub Med and the archives of Den Norske Lægeforening for literature searches.
Results:An important measure in preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV is to teach women in reproductive age about HIV. Testing for the virus is essential for early intervention against transmission. It is important to offer infected pregnant women treatment of additional sexual transmitted diseases and to give them vitamin supplements.Different antiretroviral medicine is found to reduce the transmission rate. Cesarean section is also effective if performed elective before the membrane ruptures. Exclusive breastfeeding with early weaning is recommended in developing countries as formulafeeding is difficult to perform properly.
Conclusion:There are several interventions that may reduce the risk of vertical transmission. These vary from sexual health education to medical treatment and food recommendation. Some interventions are too expensive for developing countries, such as cesarean section, someantiretroviral treatment and formula feeding. The best way in these countries to prevent transmission is through information about HIV, testing and counseling, as well as nevirapine prophylaxis. Prevention of vertical HIV transmission in developing countries struggles to become better.