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Vol 80, No 1 (2009)

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Recommendations of an expert group appointed by the Polish Gynaecological Society on Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV

Ginekol Pol 2009;80(1).


The number of HIV-infected women is increasing worldwide. A similar phenomenon has also been observed in Poland, where women constitute 30% of the HIV-infected population. Every year in Poland there are 70-100 infants born by HIV-infected mothers. Since the beginning of the epidemic, 147 HIV-infected children have been registered. The key issue in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) is to identify the infection in pregnant women who report to hospitals for delivery and in breastfeeding mothers. In the majority of EU countries, the percentage of pregnant women diagnosed for HIV is over 60%, with some countries (England, Holland, France) where the percentage amounts to as much as 98%. In Poland the proportion is not greater than 10%. Almost all perinatal HIV infections in Poland occured due to the lack of timely diagnosis of the infection in a pregnant woman and the resultant failure to apply known and effective prevention measures. These recommendations present the actual system of care in that population of women in Poland.

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