Perinatal HIV transmission is defined by the CDC as “HIV transmission from mother to child during pregnancy, labor and delivery, or breastfeeding”. If HIV is diagnosed in the mother before or during pregnancy, the rate of transmission to infants can be reduced to less than 1%. Despite the opportunity for infection reduction and a 90% decline in the number of cases since the mid-1990s, perinatal HIV is the most common route of infection in children.
A recent study in Georgia showed that of 698 pregnancies between 2006 – 2011, nearly 18 children became infected with a preventable case of HIV. For women who are not adhering to ART, the risk of HIV transmission to their infant is between 15 – 45%.