Mother-to-Child Transmission

Women holds her daughter on her lap. Both are HIV positive. Bangladesh.
UNICEF/BANA2013-00581/AHSAN KHAN

A Terrible Inheritance

Nearly 30 years into the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the number of children with HIV continues to grow.

Without treatment, an estimated one-third of infants living with HIV will die before their first birthday, and half will die before their second birthday.

This doesn't have to happen. When a mother has access to antiretroviral therapy, the chance of HIV transmission is virtually zero.
 
Prevention of mother-to-child-transmission (PMTCT) is the most effective way to create an HIV-free generation.  
 
UNICEF is working to provide the HIV testing, counseling, medication and support mothers need to protect their children. The success shows — according to the latest data, 67% of pregnant women living with HIV in the highest burden countries received services to prevent mother-to-child transmission in 2013.

Better services to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV averted nearly 1.1 million new infections among children between 2005 and 2013. Still, some 240,000 new infections occurred among children in low and middle-income countries in 2013 alone. More work lies ahead to reach every child and realize an AIDS-free generation.