HIV acquisition during pregnancy and breastfeeding significantly contributes toward paediatric HIV infection; however, little is known about risk behaviours in HIV-uninfected pregnant and postpartum women.
Nearly a quarter of a million children have acquired HIV, prompting the implementation of new protocols-Option B and B+-for treating HIV+ pregnant women. While efficacy has been demonstrated in randomized trials, there is limited real-world evidence on the impact of these changes.
In many settings with high HIV prevalence, fertility rates are also high and women spend a significant proportion of their reproductive years pregnant, postpartum, or breastfeeding. Some, but not all, studies have demonstrated significantly higher HIV incidence during pregnancy.
Universal antiretroviral therapy (ART) for all pregnant/ breastfeeding women living with HIV, known as prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) Option B+ (PMTCTB+), is being scaled up in most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.