Elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis: celebrating country success


Venue:  UN Delegates Dining room south (Rooms 7 and 8), 4th floor

In many high-income countries, scale-up of services for HIV and syphilis prevention and treatment to pregnant and breastfeeding women has resulted in the virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission of these two infections. Globally, we continue to see a high burden of new HIV infections among children (220,000 new infections during 2014) and high morbidity and mortality from congenital syphilis, with an estimated 350,000 adverse infant outcomes in 2012. If women with HIV and syphilis are identified before they become pregnant or during the first trimester of pregnancy, if and treatment is initiated promptly, transmission rates can be dramatically reduced. Several lower and middle income countries have achieved remarkable success in this regard.  In 2015, Cuba was validated as having eliminated mother to child transmission of HIV and syphilis.  The Global Validation Advisory Committee (GVAC) has recently met to consider validation of elimination in a number of other countries. This special session will announce the outcome of the GVAC deliberations and celebrate country success in reaching this impressive milestone.

Focal point:  Andrew Ball, balla@who.int