HIV Prevention Is Not Enough: Child Survival in the Context of Prevention of Mother to Child HIV Transmission
Kuhn, L., Sinkala, M., Thea, D. M., et al. Journal of International AIDS Society (2009), 12(1), p. 36.
Prevention of HIV transmission is not enough, according to the authors of this commentary, who say that measures to improve maternal health and child survival must also be addressed. The authors review key pitfalls of some prevention programs, from earlier attempts to encourage all women living with HIV to abstain from breastfeeding (which led to a sixfold increase in child mortality in Uganda), to the tendency to conduct prevention activities such as voluntary testing and counseling in urban areas. Because some prophylactic antiretroviral regimens are administered during, prior to, or just after a child’s birth, many children of mothers with HIV are left unprotected during breastfeeding—a period when 40 percent of children with HIV will acquire the virus.