• A Ministry of the Congregation of Holy Cross
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    • Prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programmes offer a range of services for women of reproductive age living with or at risk of HIV to maintain their health and prevent their infants from acquiring HIV.
    • PMTCT services is offered before conception, and throughout pregnancy, labour and breastfeeding.
    • PMTCT services include early infant diagnosis at four to six weeks after birth, testing at 18 months and/or when breastfeeding ends, and ART initiation as soon as possible for HIV-exposed infants to prevent HIV acquisition.
    • Maintaining women and infants in PMTCT programmes after delivery is challenging. In some countries more infant infections are now occurring during the postnatal period due to breastfeeding rather than pregnancy or labour due to the high rates of women who leave care.
    • Around 1.4 million HIV infections among children were prevented between 2010 and 2018 due to PMTCT programmes.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) promotes a comprehensive approach to PMTCT programmes which includes:

    • preventing new HIV infections among women of reproductive age
    • preventing unintended pregnancies among women living with HIV
    • preventing HIV transmission from a woman living with HIV to her baby
    • providing appropriate treatment, care and support to mothers living with HIV and their children and families.8