« Go Back

Transmission risk for baby

Question: 

Are babies or immunocompromised people most vulnerable for HIV infection?

Answer: 

Hello,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about which demographic of people is most vulnerable to an HIV infection

According to the Transmission Equation, anyone who engages in a risky activity in which bodily fluids have direct access to the bloodstream are at risk of acquiring HIV. HIV is not a disease that preferentially infects those that are immunocompromised, like the flu. The HIV virus has the potential to infect any person that provides HIV-containing fluids virus direct access to their blood stream.

Babies that are born to HIV positive women are at high risk (15-45%) of acquiring HIV during pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding if the mother is not on antiretroviral therapy (1). If the mother is on effective HIV treatment with a suppressed viral load the risk of transmission goes down to less than 2% (2).

Regards,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Marie