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Vertical transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Talsma, D.T. (2010) Vertical transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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The mother-to-child route of transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) causes many new HIV infections. Mother to child transmission (MTCT) of HIV is most prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa. It can be transmitted in the uterus, at time of delivery and during breastfeeding. Important risk factors for MTCT of HIV are a high viral load and a low CD4+ cell count in the mother, mode of delivery (vaginal delivery versus caesarean section), virus type and genetic variability, maternal nutrition and maternal co-infection with malaria. But a child exposed to HIV does not always contract the infection. This may be due to HIV-specific CD8+ T cells and natural killer cells in the immune system of the newborn. Prevention of MTCT of HIV is important because an HIV infection cannot yet be cured. The most effective way to prevent MTCT is to keep the viral load of the mother low by Combined Anti Retroviral Therapy (CART) The problem with this, however is, that many pregnant woman in high-prevalence areas do not receive HIV counseling or HIV testing. And when HIV counseling and testing has been done, access to anti-retroviral drugs is often insufficient. Therefore more HIV counseling and testing should be available in high risk areas and HIV treatment should be accessible for HIV positive pregnant woman.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:31
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:31

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