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Prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV

Mother and childPrevention of mother to child transmission is a national priority

South Africa continues to have a high rate of mother to child transmission of HIV. Almost 28% of pregnant women and 30% of mothers are HIV-positive and an estimated 300,000 mothers need treatment each year.

The National HIV & AIDS and STI Strategic Plan for South Africa, 2007-2011 (NSP), aims to reduce the rate of mother-to-child transmission to less than 5% by 2011.

Progress with implementation of the PMTCT programme has been mixed, with greater gains made in some health districts than others. Reaching the NSP target will require a major national effort, including social mobilization and investments in health system strengthening.

Funding effective interventions in PMTCT
By the end of December 2008, the DFID-funded MSP had allocated around R13.3 million to PMTCT projects. These projects have focused in different ways on reducing mortality in mothers and children by improving not only the quality of PMTCT services but also the provision of comprehensive prevention, treatment, care and support for mothers and children infected and affected by HIV.

They have all played an important role in informing PMTCT policy and practice both in their respective provinces and in South Africa more widely.

This thematic brief provides an overview of PMTCT in South Africa including challenges to expanding PMTCT services, and describes the MSP projects that aim to strengthen PMTCT through improving health system capacity to delivery effective interventions and quality, comprehensive services.

Read the full thematic brief on preventing transmission of HIV from mother to child [PDF 154KB]

Read about the 2009 national plan to accelerate the provision of PMTCT, the A-Plan

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