Preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV

Throughout South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province, communities struggle with a legacy of oppression and the health burdens it brings. An estimated 28 percent of pregnant women in the region are living with HIV and face the risk of passing the virus on to their children. To reach these women with interventions that will keep both them and their children healthy, PATH is working with local partners and the local department of health to integrate prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV into the continuum of antenatal, maternal, and pediatric care.

The integrated approach is strengthening the province’s ability to provide high-quality, comprehensive PMTCT services to women wherever they seek care. It is also improving the quality and availability of health data, boosting human resource capacity, and supporting government policies that expand women’s access to antiretroviral drugs and other important interventions.

In clinics and health centers, health providers are strengthening their counseling skills and maximizing every opportunity to link women to reproductive health care as well as HIV and AIDS treatment, care, and support. In communities, women and their families are discussing the urgency of seeking preventive care and treatment. With each effort, the integrated approach is helping to mitigate the impact of HIV and giving women the greatest chance to protect themselves, and their babies, from HIV.

Partners

Department of Health, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Health Information Systems Programme

South Africa Partners, Inc.

Photo: PATH.

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African woman carrying baby on her back
By providing HIV services before, during, and immediately after pregnancy, PATH is helping women minimize the effects of HIV on themselves and their babies.

This project received innovation funding at a critical point in its development.