|My song against AIDS|
|Data briefs: Progress and disparity|
Mother-to-child transmission risk better known
More than 70% of women aged 15 to 49 in 11 HIV-endemic countries including the Central African Republic, Haiti, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe (see list) know that a mother infected with HIV can transmit the virus to her child.
Survey data from 17 countries show that awareness of transmission risk is highest in countries with high HIV-prevalence rates and much lower in countries with relatively low HIV-prevalence rates, such as Chad, Madagascar, Mali and Niger.
In 1999, 1.3 million children under the age of 15 were infected with HIV. In many of these cases, the virus was passed from mother to child during late pregnancy, labour, childbirth or breastfeeding.
In northern Thailand, rates of mother-to-child transmission among women participating in such programmes have dropped from 25% to 7.5%.
These programmes also offer uninfected women and their partners information on how to avoid infection and assist those who are infected in making informed decisions about sexual practices, child-bearing and infant feeding.