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Mother to baby

Mother to baby

Rates of HIV transmission from women to their babies in the UK are low.

In 2015, just over 1% of new HIV diagnoses in the UK (79 cases) were cases of mother-to-child transmission, which were almost exclusively acquired abroad. 

The number of mother-to-child transmissions was reduced dramatically in the UK thanks to:

  • antenatal screening,
  • treatment to block transmission,
  • avoiding breastfeeding, and
  • selective Caesarean delivery.

Thanks to all these methods, the chances of a woman with HIV having a baby that is HIV negative have increased dramatically. They now stand at over 99% in general and 99.9% for women on successful antiretroviral treatment with an undetectable viral load.

Between 2006 and 2015, in the UK, the transmission rate for the approximately 12,000 children born to women living with HIV infection was under 1%.

In 2014, 690,000 pregnant women were screened for HIV, an uptake of 97%. Of those pregnant women tested, 1,018 screened positive; 78% of these positive women were already aware of their HIV status.

More information

Read more about how babies can get HIV from their mothers, and how this risk can be lowered.



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  • Duff
    I am happy that my daughter came out negative she is 18 moths old now , my advise to you all is always get tested and always take your meds

    Posted 01:22 Sun 15 Feb 2015

The Information Standard: Certified member

This article was last reviewed on 2/12/2016 by Kyle Christie

Date due for the next review: 2/12/2017

Content Author: D. Laycock

Current Owner: Policy

More information:

Public Health England, HIV in the United Kingdom: 2016 Report, London: Health Protection Services, Colindale. (December 2016)