Every day, more than 1,000 infants worldwide are infected with HIV during their mothers’ pregnancy, labour or delivery, or through breastfeeding. Without medical intervention, nearly half of these babies will die before their second birthday.
Pregnant women and mothers living with HIV, and their infants, need to receive medicines from pregnancy all the way through to the end of breastfeeding in order to stop the transmission of HIV. Barriers to this needed treatment include lack of medication, the high cost of antenatal care and delivery, long waits at clinics, lack of transportation to health centres, and HIV-related stigma and discrimination.
For the last few years, UNICEF has been working with partners on an innovation to address some of these issues – the Mother-Baby Pack.