Implementation Research for the Prevention of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission in Sub-Saharan Africa: Existing Evidence, Current Gaps, and New Opportunities
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Tremendous gains have been made in the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) in sub-Saharan Africa. Ambitious goals for the “virtual elimination” of pediatric HIV appear increasingly feasible, driven by new scientific advances, forward-thinking health policy, and substantial donor investment. To fulfill this promise, however, rapid and effective implementation of evidence-based practices must be brought to scale across a diversity of settings. The discipline of implementation research can facilitate this translation from policy into practice; however, to date, its core principles and frameworks have been inconsistently applied in the field. We reviewed the recent developments in implementation research across each of the four “prongs” of a comprehensive PMTCT approach. While significant progress continues to be made, a greater emphasis on context, fidelity, and scalability—in the design and dissemination of study results—would greatly enhance current efforts and provide the necessary foundation for future evidence-based programs.
KeywordsHIV Implementation research Prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission PMTCT Africa
This work was funded in part by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01 HD075131). Trainee support was provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Clinical Research Mentorship Program.
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Conflict of Interest
Sanjana Bhardwaj, Bryan Carter, Gregory A. Aarons, and Benjamin H. Chi declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
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