UNAIDS has set the ambitious target of eliminating mother to child transmission of HIV through implementation of antiretroviral therapy based prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) programmes. Between 2000 and 2014, global paediatric HIV infections declined by 58%, but despite this considerable achievement 220,000 children became infected with HIV worldwide and 190,000 of them were in sub-Saharan Africa.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has regularly updated their PMTCT guidelines for developing countries, in response to new evidence about the efficacy of PMTCT regimens. In 2010, WHO recommended ‘Option A’. In 2013, WHO updated their guidelines, recommending that all pregnant women, regardless of clinical stage, receive ART at a minimum during pregnancy and breastfeeding (Option B) or ideally lifelong (Option B+).
Option A was implemented in Zimbabwe starting 2011. And Option B+ was implemented in 2014. CeSHHAR, in partnership with Ministry of Health and Child Care, University California Berkeley and others is evaluating the population level impact of these programmes and working Ministry to bring about elimination of paediatric HIV in Zimbabwe.