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Neonatal HIV Infection

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The purpose of this article is to describe the pertinent issues related to mother-to-child transmission of HIV infection. Significant success has been achieved in developed countries to reduce the incidence of this devastating disease in neonates through screening of pregnant women, maternal antiretroviral therapy to reduce transmission, and cesarean section for delivery. Prophylaxis continues for the first six weeks of the newborn's life with antiretroviral therapy and careful monitoring of clinical well-being. Antiretroviral therapy offers significant reduction in the rate of mother-to-child transmission, and this is presently the cornerstone of therapy for the HIV-infected pregnant woman. Clinical studies of treatment modalities continue to offer new hope to prevent transmission of the virus to the fetus. Care for the HIV-infected newborn is highly complex and constantly evolving. All neonatal nurses should be aware of these issues so that they can be partners in the identification of new cases and the ongoing treatment of babies who are infected.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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