Protecting the Children of HIV-Infected Mothers
Prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV infection has been recognized as a high-priority component of China’s national HIV/AIDS response since it launched its National HIV PMTCT Program in 2005. However, the growing realization of the high rate of mother-to-child transmission of other serious infectious diseases, particularly syphilis and hepatitis B virus (HBV), led the Chinese Central Government to design a more comprehensive program and to integrate that program into the existing maternal and child health (MCH) system. Thus, the National PMTCT Program for HIV, Syphilis, and HBV was launched in 2010. Three years later coverage had already increased to 40% and today is universal. As a result, HIV testing rates among pregnant women have increased from 58% in 2005 to over 99% in 2017, the proportion of HIV-infected pregnant women receiving treatment increased from 65% in 2005 to 90% in 2017, and the rate of HIV MTCT fell from 13% in 2005 to 5% in 2017. Similarly, improved outcomes were also observed for syphilis- and HBV-infected mothers and their infants.
The authors would like to thank Jennifer M. McGoogan for editorial assistance.
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