EMTCT of HIV & Syphilis in Thailand (Mar 2017)

A total of 30 participants from India, Nepal, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the United States attended the webinar on March 20, 2017 to discuss Thailand's lessons learned in reaching the elimination of mother-to-child transmission (EMTCT) of HIV and syphilis. Thailand is the first country in the Asia and the Pacific region and the first with a large HIV epidemic to receive validation from the WHO for achieving this milestone.

The links to the presentation and summary are below:

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Presented on March 20, 2017

CROI Summary 2017 (Mar 2017)

A total of 105 participants from Uganda, Nepal, Iran, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya, and many other countries attended the webinar on March 9th which featured new research on PMTCT and pediatric treatment presented at CROI 2017.

The links to the webinar, presentations, and webinar summary are below:

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Presented on March 9, 2017

HIV Couples Testing in Rwanda

An opportunity to reshape gender norms on sexual and reproductive health in Rwanda: Learning from a pilot project on male partner self-testing for HIV. Rwanda conducted a research study on using self-testing and other means to improve male partner testing and engagement in PMTCT.

Measurement of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in countries with high HIV prevalence in women of reproductive age

This document outlines the fundamentals of PMTCT impact determination and provides considerations for development of pragmatic, streamlined and resource-efficient systems for MTCT estimate generation in high burden settings. The guidance attempts to acknowledge the current reality of PMTCT programme data and the need for reliable MTCT rates while also encouraging a forward-looking approach towards sustainable PMTCT programme data improvements.

Note that this document is intended for countries in sub-Saharan Africa with a high prevalence of HIV among women of reproductive age. Although many of the underlying principles are relevant to settings with a lower burden of HIV, the guidance is not targeted for those programmes.

The tools in appendix 2 can be accessed here.

Optimizing HIV Treatment Access

The Optimizing HIV Treatment Access (OHTA) Initiative (2012—2017), funded by Sweden and Norway through UNICEF, supported the scale-up of lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) for pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV. The project focused on four countries with a high HIV burden: Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi and Uganda. OHTA aimed to strengthen health systems to deliver lifelong treatment (also known as ‘Option B+’) for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers living with HIV.

The three objectives of OHTA were:

  1. More effective delivery of treatment for pregnant women and mothers living with HIV by strengthening the capacity of the primary health-care system;
  2. Increase demand timely utilization and retention rates in prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services;
  3. Strengthening monitoring and evaluation (M&E) efforts to improve health service delivery for pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV and their children.


Innovative Approaches for Eliminating Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV

In 2018, OHTA released a report documenting several promising practices focused on community engagement for PMTCT based on experiences in Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, and Uganda.

In an effort to strengthen cross-country learning about effective community engagement activities and inform future PMTCT programming, the Innovative Approaches for Eliminating Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV report includes implementation details, outcomes, factors for success, and considerations for scale-up and sustainability based on the OHTA Initiative’s experiences. The information and data included in this report were collected by project staff in partnership with the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) through a desk review of existing OHTA Initiative documents, including annual reports, partner reports, and presentations. CCP and project staff also made site visits to each country to conduct interviews and focus group discussions with the implementing organisations, programme participants, and Ministries of Health (MOHs).

Five promising practices for the elimination of mother-to-child transmission were identified based on the collective experiences in all four countries. The following reports provide a detailed description of each promising practice, including similarities and differences with implementation in each country, outcomes of the promising practice, factors for success, and essential programme elements.

Community Client Tracing

Health Advisory Committees (HACs)

Male Engagement

Community Mentor Mothers

Rationalization of Implementing Partners and Services