MTCT-Plus Initiative

In 2002, the MTCT-Plus Initiative was established to meet the needs of every family member infected or affected by HIV/AIDS in resource-limited settings. Before that time, programs to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV did not provide care and treatment to HIV-infected pregnant women and mothers. The MTCT-Plus Initiative, recognizing the important roles that women and mothers play in their families and communities, built on PMTCT programs to include comprehensive treatment services for women throughout pregnancy and postpartum.

A core belief of the MTCT-Plus Initiative is that HIV is a family disease, and that all members of the family should be included in care and treatment. Thus, all HIV services, including antiretroviral therapy (ART), are extended to each mother's HIV-infected children, partners, and other family members. The initiative is known internationally as a model program for family-based care and early infant diagnostics.

The MTCT-Plus Model of Care has been implemented through 14 clinical programs based in nine countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. After five years, the initiative has provided life-saving care and treatment to more than 13,000 adults and children and has made valuable contributions toward increasing community awareness and preserving families.