can HIV be passed from mother to child
a woman has been infected with HIV, either from her
infected husband or partner, or from an injection with
an unclean needle or syringe, and she then becomes pregnant,
the HIV virus can pass from her blood (through the placenta)
into the growing baby.
The HIV may also be transmitted to the baby during birth.
one in three babies born to HIV positive mothers are
infected with the virus. Most are sickly from birth
and do not survive for long.
married man who has multiple sex partners should consider
the impact of HIV not only on his wife or wives but
on his future children.
a couple know that one or both of them are HIV positive,
they should go for advice and counselling before they
start a pregnancy. They can then discuss the risks of
a baby becoming infected with HIV, get advice on breast
feeding and talk about what arrangements could be made
in the future for the child to be looked after when
they become ill and cannot work themselves.
mother who is HIV positive should also seek advice from
a health worker about breastfeeding. For some, though
not all, HIV positive mothers, other ways of feeding
may be better for their babies.
Sue Armstrong interviews Jerry Kubandiay, Professor
of Paediatrics and Child Health at the the University
of Natal on whether HIV positive
mothers should breastfeed.
The audio used in this site was originally broadcast
on BBC World Service radio as part of the series Surviving
AIDs produced by the BBC's African Service.