29 March 2017
Rates of mother-to-child HIV transmission have plummeted across sub-Saharan Africa in the 15 years since a programme was launched to help HIV-positive pregnant women access essential services and medical care. mothers2mothers (m2m) employs mothers living with HIV to provide education and support to HIV-positive pregnant women, new mothers and their families. The programme, which started in South Africa in 2001, is currently being implemented in seven African countries. In 2015, m2m achieved virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) with an average MTCT rate of 2.1% among babies of m2m clients at the final 18-24 month test; significantly lower than national rates. For example, the national MTCT rate in Lesotho is 14%, while the rate among women served by m2m Lesotho is 3.7%. In Uganda, the national MTCT rate is 8%, compared to a 5.8% rate among m2m Uganda clients.