• Contact Us
  • Login

Mother-to-Child Transmission


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, 62% of pregnant women living with HIV in the highest burden countries received services to prevent mother-to-child transmission in 2012.

But while better services to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV averted some 850,000 new infections among children between 2005 and 2012, some 260,000 new infections occurred among children in low and middle-income countries in 2012 alone. There is more work to be done to reach every child and realize an AIDS-free generation.

Related HIV/AIDS Links

March 5, 2013

UNAIDS and UNICEF Welcome News of a Baby Born with HIV “Functionally Cured” through Treatment

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and UNICEF welcome a new case study, which found that a baby treated with antiretroviral drugs in the first 30 hours of life and who continued on treatment for 18 months, appeared to be functionally cured. The findings were presented today at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Atlanta, Georgia. According to researchers, the mother who was living with HIV at the time of birth had not received antiretroviral medication or prenatal care.

November 28, 2012

On World AIDS Day, More Pregnant Women and Children Must Get Treatment

New HIV infections in children are down, but reaching the goal of an AIDS-free generation requires treating more pregnant women and children living with HIV, UNICEF said today. Thanks to remarkable global commitment, the world has seen a 24% reduction in new HIV infections in children—from 430,000 in 2009 to 330,000 in 2011. Approximately 100,000 more children received antiretroviral treatment in 2011 than the previous year. Despite this progress, less than 1/3 of children and pregnant women are receiving the treatment they need.

September 14, 2012

Mothers' Support Group in Tanzania Works to Prevent Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV

A group of HIV-infected mothers and their partners have formed a mothers’ support group in the United Republic of Tanzania. Learn more.

Global HIV/AIDS Response

2011 HIV Report

Click here to view the 2011 Report on the Global HIV/AIDS Response, or right click to save it to your desktop.


$60 can provide HIV screening test kits for 52 mothers to be


Support UNICEF's HIV/AIDS Programs

Fieldnotes Blog RSS