Attempts to Decrease Mother-to-Infant Transfer of HIV in Underdeveloped Countries
HIV prevention ranks high on the priority list, especially among African nations that are seeing the highest rates of transmission. Challenges to implementing ways of preventing the transfer of HIV continue to crop up. One such challenge is in regards to HIV-positive women transferring the virus to their babies. Fortunately, for many communities, access to antiretroviral therapy means a measure of control over the spreading and transferring of HIV. It is in areas that are poor, isolated, and have limited medical resources where women are more likely to pass on the infection to their children.
Nigeria has continued to remain at the top of the list when it comes to death rates from HIV and also in the number of new infections each year. The nation is second only to South Africa for the number of HIV-positive children. To make matters worse, only 20% of those with HIV have access to antiretroviral treatments. Poverty certainly plays a part, and those in rural communities are even more limited in their access to certain types of medical care. One institute decided to implement an idea to help combat this growing problem.
Promoting Education, Screening, and Treatment to Prevent the Transfer of HIV
The idea was to efficiently provide medical testing, treatment, and education to those in rural communities. Women were given a package of services, and their husbands were also encouraged to get involved. Those in the villages who are responsible for providing healthcare were also instructed in how to provide a range of services. These included midwives, as their services are regularly sought after by those in the community. Cultural norms in certain areas include seeking medical attention and advice from individuals other than physicians.
The results of such efforts are promising. There was a decrease of nearly 75% in new infections for areas where this simple and cost-effective plan was put into practice. Results like this give hope that halting the spread of HIV can be achieved, even in regions where resources are limited. Such programs like this may be able to save many lives and have an influence on the transfer of HIV in developing lands.