Scientific letters

Progress of preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV at primary healthcare facilities and district hospitals in three South African provinces

Ashraf Grimwood, Geoffrey Fatti, Eula Mothibi, Brian Eley, Debra Jackson


Improving national prevention of mother-to-child (PMTCT) services in South Africa has been challenging. PMTCT outcomes were analysed at 58 primary and secondary level antenatal facilities across seven high HIV-burden sub-districts in three provinces, over an 18 month period during which new South African PMTCT clinical guidelines were implemented and a nurse quality mentor program was expanded. Early infant HIV DNA polymerase chain reaction test positivity reduced by 75.2% from 9.7% (CI: 8.1%-11.5%) to 2.4% (CI: 1.9%-3.1%); p<0.0005. HIV test positivity at 18 months of age decreased by 64.5% from 10.7% (CI: 7.2-15.1%) to 3.8% (CI: 2.4-5.6%); p<0.0005. PMTCT outcomes have improved substantially at these facilities.

Authors' affiliations

Ashraf Grimwood, Khethimpilo, South Africa

Geoffrey Fatti, Khethimpilo, South Africa

Eula Mothibi, Khethimpilo, South Africa

Brian Eley, Paediatric Infectious Diseases Unit, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Debra Jackson, School of Public Health, University of Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

Full Text



prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV, outcomes, health systems, Public Health

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2012;102(2):81-83.

Article History

Date submitted: 2011-09-19
Date published: 2012-01-27

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