Posts tagged: Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission

Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV: Development of Infant Drug Resistance

In September of 2000, the General Assembly of the United Nations held the Millennium Summit to adopt an “Earth Charter” and a “Declaration” that would lead to global governance.  The summit focused on the role of the United Nations in the 21st century; in particular, the UN’s role in pulling over one billion people out of extreme poverty, halting the pandemic of HIV/AIDS and protecting the global environment.  With 150 heads of state in attendance, it was the largest gathering of world leaders in history as of 2000; the outcome of this summit was eight international development objectives known as the UN Millennium Goals.  Two of these goals expressed an intention by the year 2015 to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS1 and to reduce by 66% the infant mortality rate 2.

Using a class of pharmaceutical drugs known as anti-retrovirals (ARVs), great strides have been made toward achieving these UN Millennium Goals.  However, each year approximately 300,000 infants still contract HIV/AIDS 3.  Almost all of these HIV+ infants are infected through mother-to-child transmission, and in the absence of treatment,  half will die before the age of two.  Using ARV therapy, the total rate of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) can be reduced to between two and five percent (without treatment, rates are between 20-45%) 4.   Read more »

Vitalwave Is Live-Blogging From The Global Business Coalition – Day 2

8:05am: Yesterday, the GBC special session meetings were hosted by Thompson Reuters in their building on Times Square. Today, the GBC Health Conference will be held at Cipriani Wall Street – an impressive venue in the heart of the financial district.

8:40am: John Tedstrom, CEO of the GBC announces that the Global Business Coalition on HIV, Malaria and TB will change its name to GBC Health and expand its scope to global health.

What does this mean and why would GBC expand its scope in the current economic climate when there is still so much to be done in HIV?  I think this is because HIV is not a disease that exists in isolation. Very few HIV+ people have HIV as their only health issue. GBC Health will now address the issues of HIV, malaria and TB in an appropriate  context. There are 33 million people living with HIV worldwide. There  are 90 million people in China living with diabetes. There are lots of big issues on the global health stage.  The lessons learned and progress made by GBC over the last ten yrs place GBC in a unique position to lead businesses in an effort to address issues in global health in a bigger and broader way. It is a challenging time for GBC, but based on their past successes, it will be exciting to see what impact they will have in the coming future. Read more »

Vitalwave Is Live-Blogging From The Global Business Coalition – Day 1

8:47am: We’re here live at the GBC in New York! Looking forward to an exciting few days.

8:53am: @ the opening session of the GBC: “Creating An HIV Free Generation In Kenya.” This is inspired by the idea that “If we can create hope, we can save lives.” This is a pilot program using private sector core comps from the likes of nike, MTV, and Warner bros. Targeting youth (age 10-24) to avoid HIV (making it cool to change behaviour and avoid HIV)

8:53am: John speaks at GBC about MTVs role in the pilot HIV free generation partnership.

9:50am: Starting the next GBC special session – “innovative financing for health”. This session will discuss trends, challenges, and future of developing pioneering platforms to mobilize resources.

10:01am: Seth Berkley CEO of international AIDS vaccine initiative says there are more drugs to treat HIV then all other viruses put together, but we have no HIV vaccine yet. Read more »

Vitalwave Will Live-Blog From The Global Business Coalition’s Annual Conference!

The 10th Anniversary of the Global Business Coalition’s Annual Conference will take place in New York City June 1stand 2nd.  With the theme of “Bold Leadership.  Big Impact,” the 2011 GBC Conference will focus on “Business Driving Change for a Healthier World.”

Vitalwave’s own Bryon Bhagwandin will live-blog from this event featuring special sessions, panel discussions, an awards dinner and fund-raising auction presented by a star-studded line-up of over 1,000 business executives, policy makers, celebrities and thought leaders.  Some of the presenters include Sir Richard Branson, George Soros, Ted Turner, Gordon Brown, Kenneth Cole and Sarah Jessica Parker.  In addition, Whoopi Goldberg will host the Gala Awards dinner where Sigourney Weaver and Kim Cattrall will present awards and Natalie Merchant will provide musical entertainment.

Read more »

Preventing Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission (PMTCT): A Common Fight

In 2009 it was estimated that there were 2.5 million children living with HIV/AIDS [1]. This heartbreaking number is 2.5 million more than it should be. Sadly, it is anyone’s guess how many of these infections could have been averted by the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV.

PMTCT
PMTCT is the acronym used to describe the efforts and protocols used in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Although PMTCT may at first seem a bit complicated, there are some steps like educating mothers-to-be, testing them for HIV, informing them of breast milk substitutes, following safer delivery practices and giving them access to anti-retroviral drugs and treatments. These measures can substantially cut down rates of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV.

PMTCT has been recognized as one of the best ways to combat HIV/AIDS, especially in the fight for the lives of children. And with that recognition, the efforts to implement PMTCT have been stepped up globally. For example, in 2005 the percentage of HIV infected women who had access to treatment in developing countries was only 15%. This percentage grew to 23% in just one year, and by 2009 it was 53% [2]. Read more »

Winning The Fight Against Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission

Countries all over Sub-Saharan Africa have built a strong foundation in the fight against HIV

Not so long ago, HIV/AIDS was presumed to be a disease that could never be stopped. It hit so hard and so fast that the first crucial moments, when much could have been done, were not taken advantage of. By the time it was recognized as an pandemic too many people had already been infected. And then, the next generation started feeling the effects too, when children became infected via mother-to-child-transmission (MTCT). The hardest hit countries were almost all here in Sub-Saharan Africa, where it was thought that there was absolutely no hope of winning the fight against HIV/AIDS. Read more »

Mother-to-child Transmission of HIV: The Way Forward

I live in Ethiopia. Ever since HIV/AIDS came out of nowhere and took center stage in the early 80’s, it  has managed to spread to every nook and cranny of the world and claim the lives of millions of mothers and children around us. In a country where we used to bury someone close almost every week, we have seen a big change: countries with the highest infection and mortality rates, like Ethiopia, have been able to slow down the HIV trend. Yet, sadly, there are still other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa where more needs to be done: in South Africa, for example, the infection rate of HIV among pregnant women has been reported to be as high as 29%, this has not changed much in many years1. Read more »

Mother-To-Child Transmission: The Preventable Facet of HIV


Less than half of pregnant women in Sub-Saharan Africa have access to antiretroviral treatment

Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV occurs when an HIV-positive mother infects her child during pregnancy, labor and delivery, or through breastfeeding. In 2008, a Global Summary of the AIDS Epidemic conducted by UNAIDS showed that 2.1 million children under 15 years of age were living with HIV. In this report, one of the nine goals set out for the 2009-2011 period Read more »

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 Read more »

Africa Is Dying Slowly Revisited

Less than half of HIV-positive pregnant women have access to antiretroviral treatment

Four years ago, I wrote an article about HIV in Africa.  Imbued with a sense of importance, and filled with the hope that my words would magically change the world, I titled it Africa is Dying Slowly, and called on humanity to do something about the crippling situation of HIV/AIDS on the African continent.  This may sound naïve. It certainly seems that way to me at times. Since I wrote that article in 2007, I have entered university to study history and political science. Learning about the repeated failures of mankind can certainly give oneself a negative and gloomy outlook on life. And yes, sometimes when I glance through that article, I do wonder what childish innocence led me to think that it might have any effect. However, I still see a glimmer of truth behind the flowery sentences and tearful pleas.

Here are the facts:[i] Read more »

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