SAMJ: South African Medical Journal
On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574
GEDDES, Rosemary et al. Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV programme: Low vertical transmission in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2008, vol.98, n.6, pp.458-462. ISSN 2078-5135.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the operational effectiveness of the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV programme at McCord Hospital during the period 1 March 2004 - 31 August 2005. DESIGN: Observational cohort study. SETTING: McCord Hospital, Durban, South Africa. SUBJECTS: Antenatal patients attending the PMTCT clinic. MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: During the 18 months all 2 624 women (100%) attending the antenatal clinic received HIV counselling, resulting in 91% (2 388) being tested for HIV. The prevalence of HIV in the total cohort was 13% (95% confidence interval (CI) 11.6 - 14.2). Of the HIV-positive mothers 302 (89%) completed their pregnancy at the hospital, and in this group there were 3 intrauterine deaths, 1 miscarriage, 1 maternal death (with the baby in utero) and 297 live births with 1 early neonatal death. Only 11% (36 out of 338) were lost to follow-up. A quarter (668) of the partners of all women attending the antenatal clinic were tested for HIV. Delivery in 70% (209) of live births was by caesarean section. Nevirapine was administered to 98% (290) of live babies and 75% (224) received zidovudine (AZT) as well. The 6-week polymerase chain reaction (PCR) baby test uptake was 81% (239 out of 296 live babies). Of those tested, 2.9% (95% CI 1.3 - 6.2) tested HIV positive. CONCLUSION: Despite challenges faced by PMTCT providers in a resource-constrained setting, this state-aided hospital provides a comprehensive and integrated service and has achieved outcomes that compare favourably with those in the developed world.