Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission
AIDSFree Activities in PMTCT
PMTCT programs help keep mothers and babies alive and healthy while also supporting healthier, more productive families and communities. Because it works so well and touches so many lives, PMTCT is a smart investment for PEPFAR—it is both high-impact and cost-effective. To increase global coverage and eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV, AIDSFree will focus on the following activities:
- PMTCT Service Delivery: Many PEPFAR-funded countries have begun placing service delivery in the hands of local partners so that the countries themselves have agency over setting priorities, managing resources, and implementing national HIV programs. To help with this transition, AIDSFree helps country teams to establish, maintain, and scale up high-quality PMTCT programs; and to integrate Option B+ within national HIV care and treatment programs.
- Retention in Care of Mother-Baby Pairs: Mothers and their infants receive PMTCT and health services together through 18-24 months, but many are lost to follow-up before that point. AIDSFree developed a successful community-based mentor mother model that uses a proactive approach to ensure retention in care of mother-baby pairs until the infant's HIV status and PMTCT final outcome is determined.
- Private-sector Engagement in PMTCT: Private health providers, faith-based organizations, and civil society organizations are increasing access to HIV care for women and their children, and have substantial potential to fill gaps in PMTCT service delivery. However, these groups are often excluded from national PMTCT trainings and roll-out strategies, and the best approaches for engaging them in health service provision remain unclear. AIDSFree is exploring new initiatives to understand how to engage private health providers in the scale-up of PMTCT, Option B+, and other key HIV services.
- Civil Society Organization (CSO) Engagement in PMTCT: CSOs are successfully supporting women and children to remain on HIV care, yet their engagement at the planning and policy level is still limited. AIDSFree is identifying critical gaps and opportunities for increased CSO involvement in PMTCT-related issues to inform national and international stakeholders.
- Cost Effectiveness Analysis: Significant challenges remain in ensuring that all HIV-positive mothers and their newborns—including lower-income families and women living in rural areas—can access PMTCT services. AIDSFree is developing recommendations on the most cost-effective approaches for delivering PMTCT services.