Global PMTCT efforts have emphasized women’s access and adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) as a key element of effective PMTCT programs to reduce the risk of HIV transmission and achieve optimal maternal and child health outcomes. Since the long-term benefits of ART use require sustained viral suppression, viral load (VL) monitoring in pregnant and breastfeeding women is crucial to ensuring effective ART use. However, there has been little attention to VL monitoring in pregnancy and the postpartum period.
On Wednesday, June 13th, AIDSFree hosted a webinar on viral load monitoring in pregnancy and the postpartum period. Presentations included an introduction that highlights key considerations for VL monitoring in pregnant and breastfeeding women on ART as a priority population, an overview of the Kabeho Study in Rwanda including trends in maternal viral suppression and adherence over the two-year postpartum period, and a review of maternal VL monitoring and retention in urban and peri-urban antenatal clinics in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Meet the Speakers
David Sullivan, MD
David Sullivan is a Pediatric and PMTCT Technical Advisor for pediatric and maternal clinical services in the Office of HIV/AIDS at USAID. He works with USAID strategic partners and stakeholders to review, monitor, and analyze data on the technical quality of PEPFAR programs. His work has also included support for scale-up of early infant diagnosis and viral load monitoring programs to identify gaps in service delivery.
Jepkoech Kottutt, MPH
Jepkoech Kottutt is an MPH graduate of Emory University. She is the current PMTCT and Pediatric HIV Intern at the Pediatric and Maternal Branch in the Office of HIV/AIDS at USAID. She has a background and has worked extensively in maternal, neonatal, and child health.
Michelle Gill, MPH
Michelle Gill is a Senior Research Officer with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) and was a co-investigator on the Kigali Antiretroviral and Breastfeeding Assessment for the Elimination of HIV, or the Kabeho Study, which will be presented today. She has been conducting operations research on PMTCT and pediatric HIV for over 10 years. Ms. Gill is based in Seattle, Washington and is a PhD candidate at the University of Ghent in Belgium.
Diana Mokoena, MBChB
Diana Mokoena is Program Manager for Anova Health Institute responsible for the USAID-funded Health System Strengthening activities in Anova-supported public health care facilities. She is passionate about better health outcomes for people living with HIV and TB and brings over 10 years postgrad experience in the medical field with comprehensive exposure in both public and private health sectors in South Africa.
Nozipho Maseko, BCUR
Nozipho Maseko is a PMTCT Technical Advisor at Anova and has been working in the public sector for the past 16 years and part of Anova’s Health System Strengthening activities for the last nine years with a special focus on improving comprehensive care for HIV-positive pregnant women and all efforts towards eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV for exposed infants.