Missed opportunities to enrol women testing HIV-positive in antenatal and delivery services into long-term HIV care and treatment

Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programmes have been scaled up substantially in recent years. In 2009, it was estimated that 50% of pregnant women in East and Southern Africa were tested for HIV, up from 15% in 2005. In South Africa, Zambia and Botswana more than 90% of pregnant women were tested for HIV. However, testing is only the fi rst step in a cascade of essential PMTCT interventions. Women identifi ed as HIV-positive through these programmes need to be assessed for their eligibility for lifelong highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Women who do not yet require lifelong HAART should be given antiretrovirals (ARVs) for themselves and their baby as prophylaxis to prevent mother-to-child transmission, and should be given advice on infant feeding options. They also need to be linked into adult care and treatment programmes, so they can access treatment when their HIV illness has progressed.

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Details:

Authors: Annabelle South, Laura Ferguson, Rebecca Balira, Deborah Watson-Jones, David A. Ross
Published By: Evidence for Action
Date: May 1, 2011
Publication Link: http://r4d.dfid.gov.uk/PDF/Outputs/HIV_AIDS/BriefingNo.9.pdf