Routine antenatal testing for HIV is now the norm in most developed countries. This appears to be most effective if an opt-out approach is taken. Infection with HIV poses specific problems in pregnancy, and antiretroviral treatment must be supervised by experienced physicians. Infected women will be offered such treatment with the aims of reducing vertical transmission and minimizing disease progression . Choice of antiretroviral treatment will depend on clinical status, viral load and CD4 counts. There is no evidence of reproducible congenital abnormality with different antiretroviral agents, but clearly some caution is required with newer agents and treatment regimes until long-term follow-up data become available. Risks of perinatal transmission are reduced by Caesarean delivery, appropriate intrapartum antiretrovi-ral treatment, avoidance of breastfeeding and treatment for the neonate. These strategies have reduced mother to child transmission to 2%.
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For many years, scientists have been playing out the ingredients that make breast milk the perfect food for babies. They've discovered to day over 200 close compounds to fight infection, help the immune system mature, aid in digestion, and support brain growth - nature made properties that science simply cannot copy. The important long term benefits of breast feeding include reduced risk of asthma, allergies, obesity, and some forms of childhood cancer. The more that scientists continue to learn, the better breast milk looks.