In this paper, the topic of discussion is HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and consequently AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). However, the focus is mainly on how babies get AIDS. AIDS is the condition that occurs after one has been infected with HIV. It suppresses an individual’s immunity thus making it possible for opportunistic infections to invade the person and thrive under the conditions created by the reduced immunity. The virus is transmitted through body fluids especially blood, vaginal fluid and penis discharge.
Most of the children with AIDS were infected by their HIV positive mothers. This happens either during pregnancy or when delivering. In case the mother has a very high viral load and is not on medication, it is possible for her to infect the baby while in the womb. The baby gets nourishment from the mother’s blood using the placenta through numerous blood vessels attached to it. In case some of these blood vessels are torn, it is possible for blood to mix and thus cause infection (Wilson T. July 1997). Infection can also take place during delivery especially if it has bee a long delivery.
The baby gets bruised and in the process the mother’s blood gets into the bruises and causes infection o the baby. Another way of infecting the baby is by breastfeeding. Breast milk contains the virus and thus it is possible for a HIV positive mother to infect her baby when breastfeeding. However, it is important to note that although many children born to HIV positive mothers may test positive for the virus in the first few months of their lives, not all of them end up getting AIDS (http://www. thebody. com).
Some tend to have the antibodies from the mothers blood but this clears up with time leaving them negative. The conclusion therefore is that HIV is transmitted from HIV positive mothers to babies during pregnancy, delivery or through breastfeeding. References 1. The Body The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource Jan 15 2009, Pregnancy and HIV retrieved on April 3, 2009 from http://www. thebody. com/content/art6090. html 2. Wilson T. July 1997, How do Babies Get Aids, Pathology, Div. of Molecular Oncology, Washington University School of Medicine