PCR early diagnosis helps reduce mother-to-child HIV transmission

(CPV)- Vietnam has around 2 million newborns each year; 3,000 of them are born by HIV-infected mothers, according to statistics from the Vietnam Administration of AIDS Control (VAAC), under the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Previously, 18 month old did not have a reliable test to define whether they were infected with HIV or not; but nowadays, with Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) early diagnosis technique, 4-6 week old newborns can be tested for HIV and have results within 2-3 months, which will help newborns to soon be treated with medicines and reduce the mortality rate.

However, a serious difficulty is that PCR testing machines are o­nly equipped in provincial- and central-level hospitals. The MOH plans to build two centers for new diagnosis in northern and southern regions.

It is expected that if preventive work is carried out in a timely fashion, the rate of mother-to-child HIV transmission will be reduced from 30% to 10% each year.