Factors affecting transmission

Certain factors may increase the chance of mother-to-child (MTCT) HIV transmission:

  • Advanced HIV disease
  • Anaemia
  • Breastfeeding; mixed feeding (breast and formula)
  • Frequent unprotected se
  • Cervical or vaginal infections
  • Chorioamnionitis (inflammation of the membranes that cover the foetus)
  • Co-infection with other infectious illnesses
  • Genetic factors (of mother, infants, or virus)
  • High viral load
  • HIV-related wasting
  • Illicit drug use during pregnancy
  • Low CD4 cell count or CD4 percentage
  • Low maternal antibodies
  • Older age
  • Premature delivery
  • Prolonged or difficult labour
  • Smoking during pregnancy
  • Unprotected sex
  • Waters breaking more than four hours before delivery.