Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV

August 15, 2017

Purpose: Annually, more than 700,000 children are infected with HIV. The most common route by far of HIV transmission for newborns and infants is mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). This course presents the basic elements of preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) that expand across the continuum of care – during antenatal, intrapartum, postpartum, and newborn care – and highlights key elements that must be addressed in programs.


Objectives: After completing this course, the learner will be able to:

  • Identify the scope of the problem of HIV-infected infants who have become infected through transmission from their mothers
  • Explain the modes of transmission from mother to infant
  • Discuss the clinical association between HIV and malaria in the pregnant woman
  • Discuss the role of family planning in reducing MTCT of HIV
  • Describe the elements of HIV counseling and testing of women during antenatal care
  • Define the antenatal care interventions that can help reduce the risk of MTCT of HIV
  • Discuss the intrapartum care interventions that can help prevent the transmission of HIV from mothers to newborns
  • Discuss the postpartum interventions that can help prevent the transmission of HIV from mother to infant
  • Describe the importance of community interventions and approaches in PMTCT of HIV
  • Explain key elements in policy and advocacy for PMTCT
  • Describe elements that are essential in programs that involve PMTCT

Course Prerequisite: HIV Basics (Part 1) course (which is also part of the Global Health eLearning Center)

Time: Approximately 1 hour, 45 minutes

Course Last Updated: November 2007

PMTCT, eLearning, K4Health, mother to child transmission