The percentage of HIV transmission from mother to child can be prevented in a
number of ways. I. The AZT treatment is one way to prevent HIV. A. AZT is a drug
that decreases mother to child transmission of HIV.
B. AZT is given to the HIV
positive mother throughout her pregnancy. II. HIV can be contracted through
breast-feeding. A. There is a 14% chance of transmission of HIV from mother to
child through breast-feeding.
B. There are alternatives to breast-feeding, such
as formula and a milk bank. 1. Alternatives to breast-feeding have their bad
sides. 2. Breast-feeding can be made safer.
III. HIV testing in pregnant women
can lower HIV transmission from mother to child. A. HIV testing in pregnant
women is a good idea. 1. Mother who knows their HIV status can make informed
choices about their pregnancy.
2. Voluntary HIV testing in pregnant women has a
very low success rate. 3. Women are scared of the test results. 4. Prenatal HIV
testing is less costly than treating the mother and the child for HIV.
Mandatory testing for HIV in pregnant women also has its down sides. 1. Women
could be scared away from the health care system. 2. Tests may not be
Preventing HIV Transmission from Mother to Child “In 1993,
approximately 7,000 HIV-infected women gave birth in the United States. Of those
newborns, 1,000 to 2,000 are infected with HIV-now the seventh leading cause of
death in children aged 1 to 4” (Gordon and Hooker). HIV in children is
becoming more and more widespread and there is still no cure for it. The most
common way children contract HIV is through their mother. The percentage of HIV
transmission from mother to child can be prevented in a number of ways. One of
the ways HIV transmission from mother to child can be prevented is through AZT
AZT is a drug that is given to HIV positive mothers, which can
decrease mother to child transmission by 67.5 percent (Gordon and Hooker). The
mother is given five doses of AZT a day for the last six months of her pregnancy
and then four doses during labor and an AZT syrup is given to the newborn for
six weeks after birth (Gordon and Hooker). AZT is the only drug approved for
preventing HIV transmission from mother to child (“Women and HIV” 10).
Mothers choosing to not breast-feed their children can also prevent HIV
transmission. The chance that a newborn can contract HIV from their mothers
breast milk is up to 14 percent (Kent).
“In October 1995 the U.S. Food and
Drug Administrations FDA consumer magazine said ” Women who are HIV
positive should not breast-feed” (Kent). Even though the percentage of
mother to child transmission through breast milk is low, there is still that
small chance and any chance that a child could contract HIV is too much. There
are alternatives to breast-feeding such as formula or using breast milk from a
milk bank (Kent). Though these alternatives are better than taking the chance of
transmitting HIV to a child, they too have their bad sides.
The use of formula,
for example, poses a risk of the newborn getting diarrhea and other life
threatening diseases (Kent). Breast milk can be heated to lessen the chances of
the child contracting HIV, but there is still that small yet deadly chance. HIV
testing in pregnant women could also help stop the transmission of HIV from
mother to child. With a mothers knowledge of HIV status she could be counseled
appropriately so she could choose whether of not to go on with the pregnancy,
fully aware of the risks HIV could pose on her child (Gostin 65). If a mother is
unaware that she has HIV the baby is denied the opportunity to get treatment.
” Its killing kids who dont have to die” (Gordon and Hooker).
time HIV testing in pregnant women is voluntary and has a very low success rate.
Women wont take the HIV test because they refuse to believe that they are at
risk and they are scared of the results (Gordon and Hooker). Making HIV testing
mandatory in pregnant women could save a lot of childrens lives. Most HIV
infected children dont make it to the age of 4 and the rest will fdie before
their teens (Gordon and Hooker). Mandatory HIV testing and AZT treatment is also
less costly for the Health Care System then treating a mother and her child for
HIV for the .