Preventing HIV during pregnancy and breastfeeding in the context of PrEP: Technical brief

World Health Organization

PrEP could complement established HIV prevention strategies for pregnant and breastfeeding women as part of a comprehensive package to reduce HIV infections among women and transmission from mothers to infants in settings with high HIV incidence.

This technical brief seeks to:

  • Summarise existing data on safety and efficacy for the use of oral PrEP in pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as women who conceive while taking PrEP.
  • Describe the rationale for offering PrEP as part of a comprehensive HIV prevention package that is integrated with PMTCT, antenatal and postnatal care programmes in settings of high HIV incidence.
  • Discuss considerations for offering PrEP for safer conception.
  • Outline a framework to strengthen HIV prevention during the antenatal and postnatal period for mothers, their partners and infants.
October 26, 2018
Year of publication
Resource types
Guidelines and Policies
HIV prevention strategies, pregnant and breastfeeding women, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), WHO guidelines, PMTCT, prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT)

Similar Resources

The Road Map was prepared through a consultative process that brought together more than 40 countries and organizations, including civil society organizations, networks of people living with HIV, faith-based organizations, networks of key populations and international organizations and…

This study aimed to evaluate the impact of clinic-based prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) community support by trained lay health workers in addition to standard clinical care on PMTCT infant outcomes.

Approximately 1.4 million women living with HIV become pregnant every year. Most women use antiretroviral therapy, to reduce the risk of vertical transmission or for personal health reasons.

This report compiles the latest body of evidence on how stigma and discrimination create barriers across the HIV prevention, testing and treatment cascades and reduce the impact of the AIDS response.

Innovative approaches are needed to increase engagement in HIV treatment and prevention services, particularly in HIV hot spots.

The life expectancy of HIV-positive individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) is approaching that of HIV-negative people. However, little is known about how these populations compare in terms of health-related quality of life (HRQoL).

Many countries are working to reduce or eliminate mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV. Prevention efforts have been conceptualized as steps in a cascade but cascade completion rates during and after pregnancy are low.

Adolescents living with HIV are an underserved population, with poor retention in HIV health care services and high mortality, who are in need of targeted effective interventions.

Option B+ for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) specifies treating all HIV-positive women with antiretroviral therapy (ART) regardless of CD4 count. This simplified approach enhances countries' capacity to reach national HIV targets and contribute to the global 90-90-90 goals.…

To understand the uptake of HIV services by adolescent women, the authors conducted a retrospective analysis of patient-level data (2011–2013) on services for antenatal care (ANC) and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) in 36 facilities in 5 districts in Zimbabwe.