Mother-to-child-transmission Law and Legal Definition

Mother–to-child-transmission is a term used to refer the transmission of the HIV virus from a mother to her child. Transmission can occur during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, or through breast feeding. Mother-to-child-transmission is also called perinatal transmission.

Mother-to-child-transmission can be reduced if the pregnant mother is given an antiviral drug, zidovudine (ZDV). Mother-to-child-transmission is the most common way children become infected with HIV. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly all AIDS cases in U.S. children are caused via mother-to-child-transmission.

In the U.S., there are programs to reduce and prevent mother–to-child transmission of HIV. Pursuant to 22 USCS § 7652, the Global AIDS Coordinator shall establish a panel of experts known as the ‘Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission Panel.’ The panel is tasked with the responsibility of providing an objective review of activities to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. It also provides recommendations to the Global AIDS Coordinator and to the appropriate congressional committees for scale-up of mother-to-child transmission prevention services in order to achieve its target.