HIV/AIDS and Maternal, Newborn & Child Health

Updated September 2011

  • Globally, women are increasingly affected by HIV. 17.3 million of adults living with AIDS are women — almost half of the total of 38.6 million. That number has increased in every region in the world over the past two years.1
  • In Swaziland, HIV prevalence among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics arose from 4% in 1992 to 43% in 2004.2
  • Each day, 1800 children worldwide become infected with HIV — the vast majority of them newborns. In 2005, 9% of pregnant women in low- and middle-income countries were offered services to prevent transmission to their newborns.3
  • Currently, children under 15 account for one in six AIDs-related deaths worldwide and one in seven new HIV infections — mostly through mother-to-child transmission.4
  • A study in India found that while nearly 90% of HIV-positive women were infected by their husbands, they faced more stigma and discrimination than men.5

The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health — PMNCH — works to save the lives of all mothers and children — including those infected by HIV/AIDS. A new global health partnership set up in 2005 focused on achieving the Millennium Development Goals, the Partnership is committed to an intensive, focused, and rapid scale-up of effective, life-saving interventions in 60 high-burden countries.

The Partnership works to invest, deliver and advance. PMNCH invests in reaching the Millennium Development Goals to reduce child and maternal mortality. It delivers by aligning partners and countries to build a continuum of care for mothers, newborns and children to ensure healthy lives. Finally it advances the centrality of women in society by taking measures to protect the rights of women and children.

The Partnership works to invest, deliver and advance to save lives of women and young children with HIV/AIDS


- Invest in prevention services for HIV and education of men and women and halt the feminisation of the epidemic.
- Invest in scaling-up integrated health services for maternal, newborn, and child health as the foundation for accelerated prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS to achieve MDG 6.
- Invest in the education and involvement of men during pregnancy and in programs for mothers living with HIV/AIDS.


- Deliver services to pregnant women with HIV to prevent transmission to newborns by building the continuum of care for mothers, newborns and children.
- Deliver services for hard to reach mothers, children and newborns by aligning partner and country strategies.


- Advance the status and human rights of women around the world so that they may make their own decisions regarding reproductive health.
- Advance MDG 4 and 5 to achieve MDG 6, as services to reduce maternal, infant and child mortality are inextricably linked to services to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS in mothers, newborns and children.
- Advance the engagement of men as prevention of mother-to-child-transmission (PMTCT) efforts may fail without their support.

1 2004 WHO: Women and AIDS: have you heard us today?
2 UNAIDS Sub-Saharan Africa Fact Sheet
3 UNAIDS Global Facts and Figures Fact Sheet
4 2006 Report on the Global Aids Epidemic, page 91
UNCEF, UNAIDS, UNAID Children on the Brink 2004
5 2006 Report on the Global Aids Epidemic, page 90