Towards Getting More HIV-Positive Infants on Lifesaving Treatment: Measuring HIV Test Turnaround Times and Early Effectiveness of HIV Mother-to-Child Prevention Programs Using Early Infant Diagnosis Records
In Lesotho, 37,000 children are living with HIV, and only about 38 percent are receiving lifesaving treatment. Historically, there have been gaps in coverage for early infant diagnosis (EID) of HIV and early infant treatment (EIT) services in Lesotho (especially in rural areas), with long turn-around-times identified as a significant challenge. The aim of this research study was to describe the current EID process, early MTCT infection rates, and the PMTCT services received by HIV-positive mothers and their infants who had an HIV test at six to eight weeks in selected sites in Lesotho in order to determine necessary steps to improve early initiation of HIV-positive infants into antiretroviral (ARV) treatment programs. Results were presented in an oral presentation at the International AIDS Conference in Kuala Lumpur in 2013.