The prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) is an important part of HIV prevention and education work. 21,938 Nigerian children under 5 were infected in 2019 during pregnancy, birth or during breastfeeding. This is about 25% of the mother-to-child transmission taking place globally.
One of the contributing factors is that only 35% of pregnant Nigerian women living with HIV are on antiretroviral (ARV) treatment. Progress in PMTCT has been slow in Nigeria: in the 2010s, transmission was reduced by only by 15%, compared to a 70% reduction in South Africa and Uganda.
ACET Nigeria's education outreach with pregnant women helps them access antenatal care, so that they can be supported in keeping themselves and their unborn children healthy during pregnancy, birth and beyond, including adhering to ARV medication.
The outreach team also encourages pregnant women who don’t know already their HIV status to get tested. 14 of 199 recently tested pregnant ladies tested positive for HIV and were supported in accessing PMTCT services and ARV treatment, improving the chance of their children being born without HIV.
"ACET Nigeria came to talk about the benefits of antenatal care (ANC). I said I hadn't been to ANC so they encouraged me to go at St Christopher clinic in Wannune.
To my surprise, the doctor discovered that my unborn child's position was not good. My heart was troubled because I had lost my first pregnancy.
I continued the ANC on a regular basis with hope that all would be well. ACET staff continue to visit and encourage me. I took my HIV medication seriously.
My worries left me the first week of September when labour started. I went to the same hospital and had a successful delivery of a baby boy. I would have lost this child again had I not gone for ANC."