NIH leads practical application events for decreasing mother-to-child HIV transmissions
The purpose of the studies is to find the best practices that will reduce this significant disease burden based in sub-Saharan Africa. There are currently an estimated 150,000 cases of mother-to-child HIV transmissions worldwide each year. Most of these cases occur in developing nations.
This program is part of a new field called implementation science, which seeks to use evidence-based practices as services and routine care. Researchers have published the results from their studies in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency, an open-access supplement.
“We have the tools at this moment to further decrease incidence of new infections, but we need to apply these tools more effectively to reach the undiagnosed and untreated mothers,” Fogarty Director Dr. Roger Glass and U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx wrote in a foreword to the study.
One of the approaches that implementation science has discovered is called “baby showers,” where women receive HIV testing and gifts at local churches. This has proven to be two times more effective in recruiting and screening for HIV compared to traditional methods.
“Continuing to find innovative ways to foster collaboration of implementation science researchers with decision makers and program implementers will be critical to speed the translation of effective PMTCT interventions in the local context and health system programs,” they said.