Transmission and Immunopathogenesis
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Vertical mother to child transmission has significantly decreased with the use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in pregnant women and their babies. The success of prevention of mother to child transmission programmes has resulted in transmission rates decreasing from 3.6% in 2011 to 1.3% in 2017. This has placed SA on track for elimination of HIV via mother to child transmission. Unfortunately, in many developing countries, many women do not seek antenatal care early on in pregnancy and do not receive ART, or, do not adhere to treatment, and do not achieve adequate viral control to prevent transmission of infection to the baby. Infection with the human immunodeficiency virus results in a profound immunosuppression, making the host susceptible to various opportunistic infections and neoplasms. Effects of the virus on the host may be particularly dramatic in children as many of the organ systems are still developing.
KeywordsHIV-1 Mother to child transmission Risk factors Life cycle Receptors CD4 cells Viral load Virus eradication
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