A pre–post intervention study conducted in Zambia by Horizons and local NGOs and governmental organizations demonstrated that HIV voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) and infant feeding counseling (IFC) to mothers attending maternal and child health (MCH) clinics are vital components of any mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) reduction strategy, whether or not antiretrovirals (ARVs) are available. These interventions enable mothers to make informed and healthy decisions. Data from the Ndola Demonstration Project yielded encouraging results from efforts to improve the capacity of mothers to make informed decisions about their own health and the health of their infant. The interventions succeeded in raising awareness about HIV and MTCT and in setting up VCT and IFC services as part of the existing MCH services, as well as providing good referral links in the community. Regardless of the availability of ARVs, counseling interventions remain crucial components for the success of any MTCT reduction program.
Hope Humana, LINKAGES, National Food and Nutrition Commission, Ndola District Health Management Team, Horizons Program, and Zambia Integrated Health Project. 2003. "Empowering communities to respond to HIV/AIDS: Ndola Demonstration Project on Maternal and Child Health: Operations research final report," Horizons Final Report. Washington, DC: Population Council.
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