PMTCT: Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV

PMTCT is the acronym used to describe efforts and protocols to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission

Over the past five years, there has been a growing awareness of mother-to-child transmission of HIV due to a large and growing number of children in Africa living with HIV.  MTCT is the acronym used to describe the process of transmission of the HIV virus from infected mother to her child during pregnancy, delivery, or through breastfeeding.  PMTCT, or preventing mother-to-child transmission, is the acronym used to describe efforts and protocols to prevent MTCT.

PMTCT measures include education, support for women, avoidance of unwanted pregnancies, safe delivery practices (caesareans), antiretroviral therapy and the use of replacement breast milk formulas.  These are measures that have been proven in the Developed World to be effective at virtually eliminating MTCT. These are measures that now must be made available to those in need in the Developing World, because without treatment and preventative measures, 15-30% of babies born to HIV infected women will in turn become infected with HIV during pregnancy and delivery. An additional 5-20% of the babies will become infected through breast feeding.1

In the absence of treatment, fifty percent of the HIV-infected babies die before the age of 2, but not without a great deal of suffering and misery. There are 2.3 million children with HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa at the end of 2009, representing approximately 10% of the total number (22.5 million) living with HIV/AIDS in this part of the world.2 All of these numbers have been growing steadily over the years with no end in sight. With such a large population of children infected with HIV, it is even more important than ever that they receive proper education and have access to preventive measures that can curb the rate of HIV transmission and infection of their generation. For these reasons, PMTCT will continue to be featured prominently in all serious HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns.

  1. AVERT ing HIV and AIDS – http://www.avert.org/motherchild.htm
  2. AVERT ing HIV and AIDS  – http://www.avert.org/africa-hiv-aids-statistics.htm
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One Response to “PMTCT: Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mother to Child HIV, Mother to Child HIV. Mother to Child HIV said: 15-30% of babies born to #HIV infected women will in turn become infected with HIV during pregnancy and delivery. http://ow.ly/3PP50 […]

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