Progress in the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV in three regions of Tanzania: a retrospective analysis.
BACKGROUND: Mother to child transmission (MTCT) of HIV-1 remains an important problem in sub-Saharan Africa where most new pediatric HIV-1 infections occur. Early infant diagnosis of HIV-1 using dried blood spot (DBS) PCR among exposed infants provides an opportunity to assess current MTCT rates. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective data analysis on mother-infant pairs from all PMTCT programs in three regions of northern Tanzania to determine MTCT rates from 2008-2010. Records of 3,016 mother-infant pairs were assessed to determine early transmission among HIV-exposed infants in the first 75 days of life. RESULTS: Of 2,266 evaluable infants in our cohort, 143 had a positive DBS PCR result at ≤ 75 days of life, for an overall transmission rate of 6.3%. Transmission decreased substantially over the period of study as more effective regimens became available. Transmission rates were tightly correlated to maternal regimen: 14.9% (9.5, 20.3) of infants became infected when women received no therapy; 8.8% (6.9, 10.7) and 3.6% (2.4, 4.8) became infected when women received single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP) or combination prophylaxis, respectively; the lowest MTCT rates occurred when women were on HAART, with 2.1% transmission (0.3, 3.9). Treatment regimens changed dramatically over the study period, with an increase in combination prophylaxis and a decrease in the use of sdNVP. Uptake of DBS PCR more than tripled over the period of study for the three regions surveyed. CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates significant reductions in MTCT of HIV-1 in three regions of Tanzania coincident with increased use of more effective PMTCT interventions. The changes we demonstrate for the period of 2008-2010 occurred prior to major changes in WHO PMTCT guidelines.
Buchanan, AM; Dow, DE; Massambu, CG; Nyombi, B; Shayo, A; Musoke, R; Feng, S; Bartlett, JA; Cunningham, CK; Schimana, W
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