infected with HIV
North West – There was a reduction in the number of babies being infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during birth at local public health facilities in the North West province during the 2018/19 period, when compared to figures recorded in the previous financial year.
The North West department of health attributes this decrease to the positive outcomes of their prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) programme.
The figures reveal that 0.9% of the children delivered by 15,855 HIV positive women tested positive after six weeks. This represented a decrease of 1.5% of the figure recorded in the 2016/17 financial year.
Early booking for antenatal care and being tested for HIV during pregnancy, delivery and the postnatal period are key factors in eliminating transmission of HIV from mother to child.
Since 2001, the department has been providing lifelong ante-retroviral treatment to all HIV-positive women as part of ongoing efforts to reduce new HIV-infections.
The North West member of the executive committee (MEC), Madoda Sambatha, said: “The success of the strategy requires coordinated efforts with all stakeholders involved towards elimination of maternal child transmission of HIV.”
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