Each year there are 240,000 new HIV infections among children under 14 in developing countries. Without treatment, 80% will die by the age of five. Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV is crucial to ending AIDS as a public health treat by 2030.
To support Malawi’s bold efforts to build an AIDS-free generation, Dignitas works with frontline health workers to deliver treatment to HIV+ mothers through Option B+, a groundbreaking national program to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT). This ‘treatment as prevention’ program offers all HIV+ pregnant and breastfeeding women immediate and lifelong HIV treatment regardless of their clinical stage or CD4 count.
Our research shows that Option B+ has lowered mother to child transmission rates nationally to 3.9%. For mothers who receive antiretroviral therapy prior to pregnancy this number is just 1.4% compared to 21.3% for mothers who had never started ART.
In 2017, Dignitas provided testing and care to 5,084 infants exposed to HIV. 136 infants were found to be HIV+ and 99% of them were started on antiretroviral treatment.