MOTHER-TO-CHILD HIV Transmission Rate Decrease Gives Hope in HIV/AIDS Battle
As the world celebrates World AIDS Day on 1 December, the City of Ekurhuleni reflects on the strides made in slowing down new HIV infection, particularly on the mother-to-child transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
Ekurhuleni health practitioners have recorded a reduction of mother-to-child HIV transmission. The average HIV-positive rate for babies tested around 10-weeks using the Polemerase Chain Reaction test (PCR) is 0.6% in the July 2019 – June 2020 financial year.
“The City is indeed making great strides in slowing down the HIV transmission, with 13 233 babies tested for HIV in the previous financial year not more than 75 were found to be positive around 10 weeks,” said the MMC for Health and Social Services Cllr Nomadlozi Nkosi.
MMC Nkosi further applauded parents for protecting their little ones by adhering to their antiretroviral (ARV) treatment as mother-to-child transmission of HIV may occur during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, during delivery or at any point during breastfeeding.
This year’s World AIDS Day theme is We are in this together, checka Impilo. It is centered around the wellness campaign that challenges individuals to make responsible health choices. The City urges the community to make it a habit to check their HIV status free in any of the city’s clinics.
Some of the initiatives by the City to prevent further spread of HIV include:
- Door-to-door education campaigns
- Distribution of condoms
- Educating communities and disseminating information on HIV and AIDS
- Conduct community based HIV testing services
- Refer and link those in need of ARV treatment
- Diagnosis, management and treatment of opportunistic infections
- Counselling sessions when infected or affected by HIV
- Access to Pele box for collecting repeat medication outside the clinic.