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