Central China's Hunan Province has launched a project to prevent HIV/AIDS transmission from mother to baby in six state-level AIDS prevention pilot areas, as the number of such infections is increasing.
Major activities include improving pre-pregnancy checkup on HIV indicators, providing prevention and therapies for HIV-infected women and the children they deliver, according to Yao Kuanbao, director in charge of the local health department's women and children section.
In the meantime, the province also plans to spread HIV/AIDS prevention knowledge among people when they marry.
Yao said that two cases of mother-to-baby infection have been reported in the province so far. One baby died and the other is now receiving treatment at the Hongjiang District AIDS Care Center.
If women receive anti-HIV therapies during pregnancy, the risk of HIV transmission to newborns will drop, said doctors. Without intervention the possibility of mother-to-baby transmission is 15 percent to 50 percent.
China officially estimates that 840,000 people with HIV/AIDS live in the country. But some say the figure is more likely to be between 1 million and 1.5 million.
(Xinhua News Agency November 11, 2004)