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HIV Prevention Knowledge Base

A Collection of Research and Tools to Help You Find What Works in Prevention

Biomedical Interventions: Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT)

Link to important additional materials and websites

PMTCT: Expert Panel Report and Recommendations to the U.S. Congress and U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator
Independent Expert Panel. (2010).

This report was commissioned by the U.S. Congress to review PMTCT activities supported by the U.S. President’s Plan for Emergency Aid Relief (PEPFAR) and others, and to make recommendations to appropriate congressional committees. The report makes numerous recommendations to achieve the goals of legislation enacted in 2008, which has as its central goal that PMTCT services will by 2013 “reach at least 80 percent of pregnant women in those countries most affected by HIV/AIDS in which the United States has HIV/AIDS programs.” The report outlines PMTCT achievements in the 15 focus countries that receive PEPFAR support. Of these, three focus countries, Botswana, Guyana, and South Africa, have achieved 80 percent coverage of counseling and testing. Family planning services and efforts to prevent unintended pregnancies among women living with HIV are seen as integral to PMTCT. Challenges in achieving PMTCT goals are described and include the difficulty of offering the full continuum of care of PMTCT services within the short pregnancy and postpartum period; ambiguity around the definition of PEPFAR targets and goals; and funding constraints. Finally, the report contains a detailed section that describes the scientific evidence for PMTCT.

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AIDS Epidemic Update
UNAIDS & WHO (2008)

This report provides a detailed review globally and by region of HIV/AIDS epidemiologic data and trends including estimates of HIV/AIDS in women of reproductive age and in children. The authors caution that some increase in the prevalence of HIV is due to improved care as people with HIV are living longer. They conclude that it is possible to reduce new HIV infections among children through increased coverage of PMTCT. Under ideal conditions, PMTCT interventions can reduce mother-to-child transmission from an estimated 30–35 percent (with no interventions) to 1–2 percent with a full complement of interventions. Global and regional estimates are provided of the annual number of infant infections averted through the provision of antiretroviral prophylaxis globally from 1996 to 2008. A qualitative discussion is provided for PMTCT programming in each region and is based on data provided regarding specific patterns of HIV transmission and conditions in each region.

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