HIV/AIDS Glossary

Perinatal Transmission

Synonym(s): Maternal-Child Transmission, Mother-to-Child Transmission (MTCT), Vertical Transmission

When a mother with HIV passes the virus to her infant during pregnancy, labor and delivery, or breastfeeding (through breast milk). Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs are given to women with HIV during pregnancy and to their infants after birth to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV. ARV drugs also protect the health of women with HIV during pregnancy and after delivery.

Related Term(s): Prevention of Perinatal Transmission, Secondary Transmission


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HIV transmission from mother to baby

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