Health Status > Maternal Health
HIV in Pregnancy
In 2005, 111 infants tested positive for
HIV after being born to HIV-infected mothers (126,964 females
over age 13 were living with HIV/AIDS in that year). The
number of infant HIV/AIDS cases in 2005 was only one-third
the number reported in 1994. A major factor in this decline
is the increasing use of prophylaxis before, during, and
after pregnancy to reduce perinatal transmission of the
virus. In 1994, the U.S. Public Health Service began to
recommend prophylaxis for all HIV-positive pregnant women;
since 1995, HIV counseling and voluntary testing have been
recommended for all pregnant women. In 2004, the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention released new and updated
materials to further promote universal prenatal HIV testing.
It is expected that the perinatal transmission rate will
continue to decline with increased use of aggressive interventions
and obstetric procedures, such as elective cesarean section.
Although there is a significant racial/ethnic disparity in
HIV/AIDS among women, and consequently among infants born
to HIV-infected women, the decline over the past decade
occurred among each racial and ethnic group. The number
of cases of HIV/AIDS among non-Hispanic Black infants declined
65.6 percent, from 215 cases in 1994 to 74 cases in 2005.
The decline among Hispanic infants was less marked (40.6
percent), from 32 cases in 1994 to 19 cases in 2005. The
most extreme decline in the number of cases was among non-Hispanic
White infants (81.8 percent) from 77 cases in 1994 to 14
cases in 2005.
Women can become infected with HIV in a
variety of ways. Among infants with HIV/AIDS
in 2005, 19 were born to mothers who acquired
their HIV through injection drug use, 35 were
born to mothers who contracted HIV from sex
with an infected partner, and 46 were born to
mothers whose risk factor was not specified.