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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Health Tips: Cesarean Delivery Best for HIV+ Women
Manning, Elizabeth
August 2, 1999
United Press International (08/02/99)

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has issued a recommendation that pregnant HIV-positive women consider having a cesarean delivery two weeks before the anticipated birth date of their child. Studies suggest that women who have a cesarean delivery two weeks before their child's anticipated birth date, combined with AZT treatment, have only a 2 percent chance of infecting their newborn with HIV. HIV-infected women who deliver vaginally with AZT have a 5 percent to 8 percent chance of transmitting HIV to their newborn, and that risk increases to 25 percent for those women who do not use AZT. ACOG's Dr. Michael Greene also said that HIV-infected women treated with combination antiretroviral therapy may have such low levels of HIV in their systems that cesarean delivery may offer no added protective benefit; however, all the factors involved must be considered and explained to HIV-infected pregnant women.