HIVSA – Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV

Through its range of innovative and multi-disciplinary programmes, HIVSA offers comprehensive, therapeutic care to individuals infected and affected by HIV/AIDS as well as to their families.

One such programme is the Orange Babies PMTCT Support Programme, which focuses on supporting pregnant women and mothers. Orange Babies funds educators working at Soweto community health care clinics to provide women with a greater understanding of all relevant issues pertaining to HIV. A specific focus on PMTCT enables women to make informed decisions and choices. The educators facilitate group as well as individual education/support sessions thereby improving the participants’ basic knowledge of HIV and prevention.

This new–found knowledge allows women to understand complex treatment issues and increases their compliance when taking antiretroviral medication. It also gives them important information on when and how they need to start exclusively breastfeeding their newborn babies. As a result of this, and other support initiatives, the number of children infected with HIV through mother-to-child transmission has dropped from approximately 27% in 2000 to under 2% in 2013.

HIVSA and the Orange Babies project have also contributed to the reduction in the prevalence of HIV among pregnant women in Soweto, from 30% to approximately 26%. HIVSA is the recipient of the very first Orange Babies project in Africa.