Mother to child transmission of HIV has become the biggest cause of infection for kids under 14, a government survey has revealed.
“Mother to child transmission (MCT) of HIV accounts for 90 percent of all new infections in children 0-14 years in Zimbabwe,” says the latest Zimstat ‘Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey’. “It is also the second major mode of transmission of the virus after sexual transmission, contributing overall to 7 percent of all HIV transmissions. Furthermore, it is estimated that HIV and AIDS contributes approximately 21 percent to the under-five mortality and 26 percent to maternal mortality in the country.”
Zimbabwe has missed the target to eliminate new HIV infections in children by 2015. The government received millions of dollars from the United Nations under the so-called ‘Global Plan for the Elimination of New HIV Infection among Children by 2015’ but has little to show for it.
The Zimstat survey found that although 96 percent of women interviewed knew that HIV could be transmitted from mother to child only 63 percent knew the three means by which HIV can be transferred during pregnancy, delivery and through breast-feeding.
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