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HIV/AIDS in Pregnancy

Cesarean Section Delivery
Reduces Infant HIV Infection

A new report suggests that elective cesarean section delivery can reduce the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission. Researchers at the Istituto Mario Negri in Milan, Italy, randomized 370 pregnant HIV-infected women to undergo either vaginal delivery or elective cesarean section at 38 weeks gestation to collect data. It was found that 10.2 percent of infants delivered vaginally were infected with HIV, compared to 3.4 percent of infants delivered via cesarean section. Authors note that recent studies have indicated that the elective cesarean section delivery combined with treatment with the drug AZT can reduce the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission by up to 87 percent, and that the current findings support the previous findings. The report is in The Lancet (1999;353:1030-1031).

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