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Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission

The face of HIV is increasingly young and female. If a woman living with HIV becomes pregnant, there is a 35% chance that she will transmit the virus to her newborn if no preventive action is taken. In 2009, roughly 370,000 babies were born with HIV—nearly one every minute. Fortunately, pregnant women living with HIV can now reduce their chances of passing the virus to their newborns by 50% by taking antiretroviral drugs. 

Preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV is critical to saving lives and curbing the impact of the epidemic, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the majority of HIV-positive women live and infant mortality remains high.

In both Ethiopia and Tanzania, EngenderHealth has comprehensive programs aimed at preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV at clinics in both urban and rural areas. Our activities include:

  • Implementing interventions to prevent HIV transmission during labor, delivery, and post-delivery (this includes providing new mothers with antiretroviral drugs and counseling them on safer delivery practices and safer infant feeding options)
  • Improving one-on-one HIV prevention counseling, HIV testing and counseling, and the treatment and management of sexually transmitted infections
  • Ensuring that mothers and their infants receive regular follow-up care and are referred to HIV treatment and care services as needed
  • Preventing unintended pregnancies by improving family planning services
  • Educating communities about risky behaviors and promoting condom use

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