Medical Research Council
World Health Organization
Health Systems Trust
2011-2012 Education Sector HIV and AIDS: Global Progress Survey- Progression, Regression or Stagnation?UNAIDS
The Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF)
Use of Antiretroviral Drugs for Treating Pregnant Women and Preventing HIV Infection in Infants
Recent developments suggest that substantial clinical and programmatic advantages can come from adopting a single, universal regimen both to treat HIV-infected pregnant women and to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. This streamlining should maximize PMTCT programme performance through better alignment and linkages with antiretroviral therapy (ART) programmes at every level of service delivery. One of WHO’s two currently recommended PMTCT antiretroviral (ARV) programme options, Option B, takes this unified approach.
Now a new, third option (Option B+) proposes further evolution—not only providing the same triple ARV drugs to all HIV-infected pregnant women beginning in the antenatal clinic setting but also continuing this therapy for all of these women for life. Important advantages of Option B+ include: further simplification of regimen and service delivery and harmonization with ART programmes, protection against mother-to-child transmission in future pregnancies, a continuing prevention benefit against sexual transmission to serodiscordant partners, and avoiding stopping and starting of ARV drugs. While these benefits need to be evaluated in programme settings, and systems and support requirements need careful consideration, this is an appropriate time for countries to start assessing their situation and experience to make optimal programmatic choices.
This programmatic update is meant to provide a current perspective for countries on the important changes and new considerations arising since publication of WHO’s PMTCT ARV guidelines, 2010 version, especially as a number of countries are now preparing to adopt Option B+. WHO has begun a comprehensive revision of all ARV guidelines, including guidance on ARVs for pregnant women, planned for release in early 2013.