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Optimizing Antiretroviral Therapy Services for Maternal & Child Health

Study addresses delays in initiating HIV treatment during pregnancy.


Maternal & Child Health

Each year, more than 700,000 children are born infected with HIV. More than 90 percent of these children will contract the virus from their mothers during pregnancy, labor and delivery, or breastfeeding. Reducing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV is a primary focus of ICAP’s prevention efforts.

ICAP works with healthcare systems to support integrated maternal-child health (MCH) and PMTCT programs, to identify HIV-infected pregnant women in antenatal care settings and provide key interventions for HIV throughout the continuum of pregnancy and after delivery. To ensure continuity of care, PMTCT programs also link HIV-infected mothers, their children and partners to long-term care and treatment programs. PMTCT programs also focus on health education, including best breastfeeding practices to reduce transmission risk and support nutrition. With a particular focus on family centered care, ICAP-supported PMTCT programs provide testing and follow-up care for HIV-exposed infants, partners and family members of HIV-infected mothers.

Psychosocial support is an integral component of ICAP-supported PMTCT activities. Through individual counseling and support groups, HIV-infected mothers and family members learn about treatment adherence and coping skills. Ultimately, ICAP-supported PMTCT activities provide opportunities to improve overall maternal and child health services.



Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology at the Columbia University Medical Center
Adjunct Associate Professor


Public Health
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