Pregnant women have been urged to book their pregnancies at health facilities to lessen and eliminate new HIV infections.
Giving a presentation at a media briefing organised by SAFAIDS in Harare on Thursday, Dr Tichaona Nyamundaya of the Elisabeth Glaser Pediatric Foundation said very few women are coming to book their pregnancies.
â€œSome women are booking a week before delivery with some shunning health facilities altogether thus heightening mother to child
â€œWhen a mother gives birth at home there is a huge risk of transmission as most of the midwives will not be able to protect
themselves, the mother and baby from HIV infection,â€ said Dr Nyamundaya.
He said early booking will allow HIV pregnant women to access anti-retroviral prophylaxis, access to support groups and information on
infant feeding, counseling and support.
Dr Nyamundaya said transmission of HIV from mother to child can take place during pregnancy, labour and delivery, after birth and during breastfeeding,â€ said Dr Nyamundaya.
The risk of mother-to-child transmission increases with a high maternal viral load, low CD4 count of less than 350, advanced maternal
disease and recent HIV infection.