Worldwide about 800,000 children a year get HIV infections from their mothers—either during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. Countries have the potential to prevent a large share of these infections through low-cost, effective interventions. UN agencies have taken the lead in helping developing countries mount programs for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT). This working paper presents key findings from an evaluation of UN-supported pilot PMTCT projects in 11 countries: Botswana, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, Honduras, India, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Key findings include feasibility and coverage, factors contributing to program coverage, program challenges, scaling up, the special case of low-prevalence countries, and recommendations. The pilot experience has shown that introducing PMTCT programs into antenatal care in a wide variety of settings is feasible and acceptable to a significant proportion of antenatal care clients who have a demand for HIV information, counseling, and testing. As they go to scale, PMTCT programs can learn from the pilot phase, during which hundreds of thousands of clients were successfully reached.
Rutenberg, Naomi, Carolyn Baek, Sam Kalibala, and James Rosen. 2003. "Evaluation of United Nations-supported pilot projects for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV: Overview of findings," HIV/AIDS Working Paper. New York: UNICEF.