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UNICEF Aims to Eliminate HIV Infections in Infants by 2015 [Slide Show]

Is it possible? The United Nations agency thinks so. To see why, follow an HIV-positive mom and her baby as they go through an 18-month HIV-transmission prevention program

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BEYOND THE PROGRAM:

A 21-month-old Elson shows off pictures from the UNICEF photography project that followed him and his mother during their transmission-prevention program.

Just expanding the prevention program that protected Elson will not be enough to eliminate mother-to-child transmission, Kolker says.....[ More ]

WHAT'S NEXT:

As some of the previous statistics have hinted, not all mothers finish their local transmission prevention program like Siamalambo and Elson did. The top reasons why include clinics running out of supplies and the distance some rural women must travel to get to a clinic.....[ More ]

IN SAFE WATERS:

Siamalambo has received Elson's test results. After their many months of treatment, Elson is free of HIV. Siamalambo will continue to get treatment from the Chelstone Clinic to maintain her own health.....[ More ]

FINAL CHECK NEEDED:

Here, Siamalambo tends her vegetable garden while 18-month-old Elson looks on. Babies who have been breast-fed should receive a final HIV test one month after they are fully weaned. By the time Elson was 18 months old, Siamalambo had weaned him completely.....[ More ]

SECOND TEST:

An HIV test at 12 months is a standard part of follow-up care for babies receiving preventive treatment. Nurse Scholastica Mumba has again tested Elson and found him HIV-free.....[ More ]

BACK TO WORK:

By the time Elson was six months old, Siamalambo returned to her job as a teacher in a local primary school. She continued to take antiretroviral drugs, both for her own health and to minimize the risk of transmitting HIV to Elson during breast-feeding.....[ More ]

LONG WAIT:

Dried-blood-spot samples collected in clinics must go to a laboratory for EID analysis. The results may not arrive for weeks. Finally, Siamalambo received news: so far, Elson was free of HIV. She continued to take her medicines and breast-feed her baby.....[ More ]

FIRST TEST:

After six weeks, Elson was due for his first HIV check. A nurse took blood samples from Elson's toe for an Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) test, which uses a technology that can detect DNA that the virus creates after it enters human cells.....[ More ]

ELSON STARTS TREATMENT:

A nurse counseled Siamalambo on how to administer the antiretroviral medicines to Elson that should protect him from HIV. Now, medicines can reduce an infant's risk of contracting HIV from breast milk from 9.5 percent to 5.4 percent, according to the World Health Organization.....[ More ]

HOT SPOTS OF NEED:

The bright pink and yellow countries in this map are home to almost 90 percent of HIV-positive pregnant women who need a transmission-prevention program. Highlighted is Zambia, where Siamalambo lives with her son Elson in its capital, Lusaka.....[ More ]

MEET ELSON:

In this photo, midwife Esther Chimembe weighs Elson after his birth at the Chelstone Clinic. Siamalambo underwent treatment with antiretroviral pharmaceuticals prior to delivery to maintain her health and prevent transmission of HIV to her infant.....[ More ]

MEET INONGE:

Inonge Siamalambo is a primary school teacher. Two years ago, when pregnant with her second child, she visited Lusaka's Chelstone Clinic for prenatal care. A routine test showed that she was living with HIV.....[ More ]

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