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Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV: Challenges for the Current Decade

This review looks at the success and future prospects of attempts to prevent mother to child transmission (MTCT) of HIV. It concludes that the 2001 targets set by the UN Special Assembly on HIV/AIDS to reduce the number of children newly infected with HIV are laudable, but optimistic given the lack of adequate healthcare infrastructure in most of the developing world.

The article aims to provide a fairly qualitative judgement on the strength of association of different risk factors for MTCT, and takes a detailed look at evidence for and against different infant feeding regimens. The author, paediatrician Marie-Louise Newell, also stresses the importance of primary prevention of HIV infection and unwanted pregnancy in young women.

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