Losing the HIV fight

Chester Makana

Chester Makana

The prevention of mother-to- child transmission strategy aimed at preventing pregnant women from spreading HIV-Aids to their children is losing its teeth.

These were the words of Dr Givas Atekar of Enhancing Children's HIV Outcomes (ECHO).

Atekar told Sowetan that the prevention strategy needed to be revisited before the worst could come.

ECHO is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) aimed at fighting the spread of HIV-Aids to children born to HIV-positive mothers.

It also advocates for the use of Anti-retroviral drugs.

Atekar said the strategy is very weak in some areas, and based on that, they have decided to come on board and support the programme.

"Children born to positive mothers were not followed up, and it was difficult to evaluate if the programme was effective," said Atekar.

"We have realised that the focus was mainly on adults than on children.

"And those children born to positive mothers were failed in terms of treatment, because except for the prevention strategy, there was no follow-up after Nevirapine was given to their mothers during pregnancy."

Atekar further urged women to prioritise their status for the benefit of their health and children.

"It does not mean that if you are positive, your child too can be positive. It's preventable," he concluded.