Reflections on a decade of delivering PMTCT in Khayelitsha, South Africa

ALT Peter Casaer/MSF

Great progress has been made in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV in the past ten years in South Africa, and this is reflected in the achievements of the health services in Khayelitsha. The Provincial Government of the Western Cape (PGWC) started the first PMTCT programme in South Africa in Khayelitsha as a primary-healthcare-level demonstration project on 4 January 1999, despite opposition by the National Ministry of Health. The School of Public Health and Family Medicine at the University of Cape Town was tasked with the monitoring of this pilot, and in September 1999, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) added technical support. Later the pilot was extended to a second MOU, and in 1999, 74% of pregnant women agreed to testing and 16% were found to be HIV-infected. In February 2000, MSF opened the first service for pregnant, HIV-infected women requiring antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Site B. MSF extended the HIV services and ART to everyone who was eligible, according to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, and to two further sites in Khayelitsha. 

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Authors: Kathryn Stinson, Vivian Cox, Maryirene Ibeto, Gilles van Cutsem, Eric Goemaere, Katherine Hilderbrand, Andrew Boulle, David Coetzee, Janet Giddy, Carol Cragg, Rosie Burton

Journal: The South African Journal of HIV Medicine

Keyword(s): HIV / AIDS