Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV

For the first time in the thirty year history of the global AIDS epidemic, the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV is considered a realistic public health goal.

Bill McCarthy/EGPAF

Since our inception in 1988, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) has been a global leader in the fight to eliminate pediatric AIDS through advocacy, research, and program implementation. As one of the largest global supporters of prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) services, EGPAF has provided over 27 million women with services to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. 


EGPAF remains a leading advocate for PMTCT services at a global level and within the countries we support.  We work to inform a variety of global initiatives, alongside partners, aimed toward elimination of HIV in women, children and families, including the Start Free, Stay Free, AIDS Free framework initiative, and play a leading role in national technical working groups to advocate for expanded country-wide access to quality PMTCT services. 

Program Implementation

In the countries we support, EGPAF works directly with ministries of health, other government agencies, and local partners to offer a comprehensive package of services to women, children, and their families. Much of our work occurs on-the-ground, at region and district health offices and health facilities where we provide health worker and program manages with skills-building opportunities, supportive supervision, mentorship, and coaching to ensure provision of high-quality, evidence-based PMTCT services. We utilize health systems strengthening and service integration approaches to improve service quality and access to and uptake of PMTCT services. EGPAF works in countries to strengthen PMTCT efforts.

EGPAF is actively engaged with communities we serve and works to increase demand and uptake of PMTCT services, while addressing harmful social norms that prevent women from accessing health services. We work hand-in-hand with community structures to involve men in PMTCT services and reduce stigma and discrimination through community education on PMTCT. We also implement peer support groups and programs to ensure women, men, and children have the tools needed to mitigate barriers to treatment such as stigma and discrimination around HIV.

EGPAF has been at the forefront of developing and rolling out the World Health Organization’s treatment guidelines. Currently, we are working with supported countries to implement Treatment for All HIV-positive persons regardless of disease stage. Our programs have evolved to include HIV treatment services as an integral part of maternal and child health services, both in antenatal, maternity, and postnatal cares settings. This has greatly improved access to lifesaving therapy and led to reduced morbidity and mortality among HIV-positive women, as well as reduced rates of HIV transmission to infants to incredibly low levels. 


As one of the first organizations to advocate and fundraise for research focused on PMTCT, EGPAF has contributed to some of the most important breakthroughs in preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission. Today, our PMTCT research focuses on conducting operations research to improve the effectiveness of PMTCT service delivery models and to build the evidence-base for effective PMTCT interventions. For more information, please see our Research page on PMTCT.

To learn more about prevention of mother-to-child transmission and EGPAF’s impact, click here