27.7  Four interventions for PMTCT in the community

In this section you will be introduced briefly to the four intervention strategies associated with PMTCT. In your work as a Health Extension Practitioner you have to keep in mind these interventions aim to increase the number of mothers willing to use PMTCT services.

Component 1:  Prevention of new HIV infections in parents-to-be

This intervention targets young women and their partners, and promotes the use of condoms, and voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) before marriage, and during pregnancy. You should ensure that all women know that they have access to family planning and counselling, and you should encourage open discussions on reproductive health issues. This intervention also emphasises the early treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and encourages a sensible attitude towards sexual activity – strategies that will help prevent HIV transmission.

Component 2:  Prevention of unwanted pregnancies in HIV-infected women

Here you should give information and counselling to HIV-infected women on family planning methods. You will also have to explain access to family planning counselling, and services that promote the correct and consistent use of condoms.

Contraceptive methods are fully explained in the Family Planning Module.

Component 3:  PMTCT using ARV drugs

This intervention aims to encourage all HIV-positive women who are pregnant or who have recently delivered a baby and their newborns to receive ARV drugs in order to minimise the risk of HIV transmission during pregnancy, labour or during the postnatal period.

Component 4:  Care and support of HIV-positive mothers and their families

This intervention seeks to provide clinical care and prophylaxis for opportunistic diseases that HIV-infected mothers (or their HIV-positive family members) may acquire. This strategy includes social, financial and psychological support for both HIV-infected pregnant women and their family members.

27.6  Breastfeeding options for PMTCT

Summary of Study Session 27