Drop in mother-to-child HIV transmission hailed

An estimated 104 000 babies were saved from mother-to-child HIV infection in 2010. (Gallo)

An estimated 104 000 babies were saved from mother-to-child HIV infection in 2010. (Gallo)

The national HIV mother-to-child transmission rate (MTCT) dropped to 2.7% in 2011, according to a Medical Research Council report released on Thursday. 

"This data shows a major achievement in the reduction off MTCT and we should celebrate it," Dr Ameena Goga of the Medical Research Counciltold reporters in Johannesburg. 

This latest announcement should be seen a major development in South Africa's fight against HIV/Aids, the Medical Research Council said.

While not as dramatic as the drop from the 8% MTCT rate recorded in 2008 to the 3.5% rate of 2010, the 0.8% reduction the following year is still a significant achievement.

Goga said this indicated that an estimated 104 000 babies were saved from MTCT in 2010. 

The decrease occurred in spite of a marginal increase in the percentage of infants exposed to the pandemic through their HIV-positive mothers from 32.6% in 2010 to 33.6% in 2011. 

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Nickolaus Bauer

Nickolaus Bauer

Nickolaus Bauer is the Mail & Guardian's jack of all trades news reporter that chases down stories ranging from politics and sports to big business and social justice. Armed with an iPad, SLR camera, camcorder and dictaphone, he aims to fight ignorance and pessimism through written words, photographs and videos. He believes South Africa could be the greatest country in the world if only her citizens would give her a chance to flourish instead of dwell on the negativity. When he's not begging his sub-editors for an extra twenty minutes after deadline, he's also known to dabble in the occasional poignant column that will leave you mulling around in the depths of your psyche. The quintessential workaholic, you can also catch him doing sports on the weekday breakfast show on SAfm and presenting the SAfm Sports Special over the weekend. Read more from Nickolaus Bauer

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