Prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission is an emerging public health challenge. In Brazil, preventive prophylaxis with AZT during pregnancy, at delivery, and for newborns was introduced in 1996, with a marked reduction in transmission (less than 5.0% nationwide). Since 1999 the Municipal STD/AIDS Program in Campos dos Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro State (population = 416,441) has acted in the prevention of vertical transmission. In 2001/2003, there was a moderately increased implementation (from 28.0% to 36.0%) of HIV screening services during pregnancy, and more pregnant women were knowledgeable about vertical HIV transmission. Remaining challenges are to expand HIV screening to pregnant women at large and to effectively introduce rapid diagnostic tests for HIV in the delivery room. Such actions are expected to change the current situation, in which only 6.8% of infected children under observation had access to prophylaxis for vertical HIV transmission.
Disease Transmission; Vertical; HIV; Zidovudine