Global Health Observatory (GHO)

Prevention of mother-to-child transmission

Situation and trends

In 2011, 839,600 pregnant women living with HIV in low- and middle income countries received the most effective antiretroviral regimens -excluding single-dose nevirapine- to reduce the risk of HIV transmission to their infants, including antiretroviral therapy for their own health. This represents a coverage of 57% [51-64%] of those in need.

Coverage of the most effective ARV regimens for PMTCT reached 70% in the WHO Region of the Americas in 2011, up from 57% in 2010. In the WHO Western Pacific Region, coverage also improved, from 6% in 2005 to 39% in 2011. Coverage has remained fairly stagnant in the South-East Asia Region, where it was 16% in 2011. Nevertheless, some countries in that region (Malaysia and Thailand, for example) have achieved high coverage. In the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region, coverage was lower, at only 6% in 2011. The WHO African Region has shown tremendous progress, with coverage increasing from 13% in 2005 to 59% in 2011. There are sub-regional differences between eastern and southern Africa (71%) and western and central Africa (26%). Overall progress in low- and middle-income countries overall mirrors the progress observed in the WHO African Region, which accounts for most of the PMTCT burden globally.

As access to services for preventing the mother-to child transmission of HIV increased, the annual number of children acquiring HIV infection stabilized in the early 2000s before decreasing steeply in the past few years. An estimated 330 000 [280 000–390 000] children were newly infected with HIV in 2011, over 40% less than the peak of 560 000 [510 000–650 000] children newly infected annually in 2002 and 2003. The number of children (younger than 15 years) living with HIV globally has levelled off in the past few years and totalled 3.3 million
[3 100 000–3 800 000] in 2011; more than 90% were living in sub-Saharan Africa.


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