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West Indian Med J. 2004 Oct;53(5):293-6.

An assessment of mother-to-child HIV transmission prevention in 16 pilot antenatal clinics in Jamaica.

Author information

  • 1The National HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Programme, Ministry of Health, Kingston, Jamaica. harveyk@moh.gov.jm



This study aims to determine the number and age distribution of pregnant women testing positive for HIV at 16 selected clinics in Jamaica between 2001 and 2002; the utilization of therapeutic interventions to minimize the risk of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) and the current status of the HIV-exposed infants and, finally, the number of children who received testing for detection of HIV and to calculate the incidence of MTCT in these children.


A retrospective study was carried out at sixteen pilot clinic sites by examining the patient records for all confirmed HIV-positive pregnant mothers and the resultant infants at these facilities for the period January 2001 to December 2002.


One hundred and twenty-three of 8116 pregnant women newly tested positive during the period January 2001 to December 2002; however, 176 HIV+ women delivered. Fifty-three (30%) knew their HIV status prior to participating in the programme. Sixty-two (1.4%) and 61 (1.6%) tested positive in 2001 and 2002, respectively. One hundred and ten (77%) and 113 (83%) mothers and infants, respectively, received ARV therapy, (92% - nevirapine, 8% - zidovudine). Twenty-three per cent of pregnant women received no ARV Forty-four (25.0%) of the 176 infants had a documented ELISA HIV test before eighteen months of age, none had a PCR test. The health status of 40 (23%) of these children was known: 30 (75%) were alive and well, five of whom did not receive any ARV, one (2.5%) was alive and ill and nine (22.5%) were reported dead, five of whom received ARV; 28.6% of infants who did not receive ARV were reported as either dead or ill compared to 13.8% of those receiving ARV CONCLUSION: Though the majority of pregnant women discovered their HIV status during pregnancy, a significant number got pregnant knowing that they were HIV+. The majority of mothers and infants received ARV but the follow-up and testing of infants was limited. Nevirapine is clearly protective in the prevention of MTCT of HIV and should be made universally accessible. All infants delivered to HIV+ mothers should be identified and tested for HIV.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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