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May 2017

Using Systems of Care and a Public Health Approach to Achieve Zero Perinatal HIV Transmissions

Author Affiliations
  • 1HIV/AIDS Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland
JAMA Pediatr. 2017;171(5):421-422. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.4871

The United States has reduced new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections and improved linkage to and retention in care for people living with HIV. New HIV infections have stabilized at approximately 45 000 per year from 130 000 new infections annually in the mid-1990s.1,2 In 2014, 74% of people were linked to care within a month of HIV diagnosis. In 2012, 55% of people living with HIV were retained in care.3 One of the most notable successes in battling the HIV epidemic in the United States to date has been the significant reduction in perinatal transmission, with elimination of mother-to-child transmission now a realistic goal. With the release in 1994 of the seminal AIDA Clinical Trials Group 076 study results demonstrating that a biomedical intervention of antiretroviral therapy could significantly reduce perinatal HIV transmission, the United States moved quickly to leverage the public health infrastructure and gain early successes.4,5 Illustrating the continued progress with preventing perinatal HIV transmission in the United States, in this issue of JAMA Pediatrics, Taylor et al6 report that the perinatal infection rate decreased from 5.37 per 100 000 live births in 2002 to 1.75 per 100000 live births in 2013.