Prevention of Perinatal Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Catherine A. Chappell, Susan E. Cohn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The reproductive health needs of all women of childbearing age should routinely address effective and appropriate contraception, safer sex practices, and elimination of alcohol, illicit drugs and tobacco should pregnancy occur. Combined antepartum, intrapartum, and infant antiretroviral (ARV) prophylaxis are recommended because ARV drugs reduce perinatal transmission by several mechanisms, including lowering maternal viral load and providing infant pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis. Scheduled cesarean delivery at 38 weeks with IV AZT decreases the risk of perinatal transmission if the HIV RNA is greater than 1000 copies/mL or if HIV levels are unknown near the time of delivery. Oral AZT should generally be given for at least 6 weeks to all infants perinatally exposed to HIV to reduce perinatal transmission of HIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-547
Number of pages19
JournalInfectious disease clinics of North America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Antiretroviral medication
  • Contraception
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Perinatal transmission
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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