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MCQs in Tropical Medicine

Rob Skelly DTM+H FRCP

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Answer 27: Vertical transmission of HIV

The following are associated with an increased risk of vertical transmission of HIV

True a. breast feeding
True b. high titres of p24 antigen in maternal serum perinatally
True c. low maternal CD4 counts during pregnancy

False d. prolonged labour
True e. HIV-1 compared to HIV-2

It is unfortunately true that breast feeding increases the risk of vertical transmission of HIV. It is generally agreed, however, that in most of the developing world the benefits of breast feeding (reduced malnutrition, reduced mortality from gastroenteritis) outweigh the risk of HIV.
High titres of p24 and low CD4 counts also predict poor maternal outcome.


Copyright: Rob Skelly 2006