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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
April 16, 2014

Barriers Still Hold Back HIV Care From Sub-Saharan Africa’s Infants

JAMA. 2014;311(15):1490. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.3532

Even in one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most successful programs to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, one-third of infants born to infected mothers weren’t tested for HIV because of logistical challenges and other barriers.

Launched in 2005, the Early Infant Diagnosis program in Botswana is intended to test these high-risk infants at 6 weeks postpartum using polymerase chain reaction assays on dried blood spot specimens. From the program’s introduction through 2012, investigators followed up all infants diagnosed with HIV infection at 13 postnatal care facilities in Francistown, Botswana.