The Union cuts HIV transmission for hundreds of mothers and children in Myanmar

The Union Office in Myanmar runs the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMCT) programme, to help reduce HIV incidence.

The service identifies HIV positive mothers during their pregnancy, by testing all women who come for anti-natal care. The PMCT programme then provides HIV positive mothers with comprehensive care and antiretroviral therapy (ART) throughout their pregnancy, during delivery and then provides continuing care for mother and child up to 18 months. The aim of this programme is to prevent HIV transmission from mother to child.

This month, The Union Office in Myanmar ran a special activity with the mothers and their families from the PMCT programme, which celebrated the success of the programme. It highlighted the stories of mothers and children who have been successfully treated. The aim of the celebration was to involve spouses in the PMCT programme; to ensure spouses receive testing, and treatment with ART where necessary.

Up to June 2016, the PMCT programme has put 988 mothers on ART and has prevented HIV infection for 605 children who had been exposed to HIV through their mother.

When she was three months pregnant, Myint Myint Thein, came for antenatal care, and through PMCT programme found out that she was HIV positive. The PMCT programme then provided her with systematic care and health facilities, as well as ART for mother and child in order to reduce transmission. Her son is now 18 months old, he is free from HIV and is able to live a normal healthy life.

“At first, I felt sorrow and dread after being diagnosed with HIV infection, but now I realise that I can survive and have a healthy life with my family, thanks to the ART that The Union provides,” she said. “I would like to thank The Union for supporting health care facilities and helping prevent HIV infection from reaching my baby. I am thankful and delighted to have been able to use these services from The Union”.

The PMCT programme has been running since March 2011, in close collaboration with the National AIDS Program in Myanmar.  The Union implements the programme with a grant from The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.