Strategic framework for the prevention of HIV infections in infants in Europe
The European Region of WHO, and particularly the eastern part, is facing one of the fastest growing HIV/AIDS epidemics in the world. The number of HIV-infected women is steadily increasing, as is the transmission of the infection to newborns. Nevertheless, the high level of coverage with antenatal care, the availability of an extensive health care infrastructure, high literacy levels, the relatively low number of infections, and effective interventions to reduce mother-to-child transmission offer an opportunity to eliminate HIV infection in infants from the Region, and thus provide a model for the rest of the world. The challenge is to prepare health systems affected by economies in transition – and particularly maternal and child health services – to deal, in an integrated manner, with transmission of HIV infection to infants. This goes beyond clinical care and needs to include a range of care and protection issues, both in health institutions and in the community. The Strategic Framework for the Prevention of HIV Infection in Infants in Europe was developed by the UNAIDS cosponsors under the leadership of WHO, based on the experience of countries in the Region. The Strategic Framework outlines strategies for implementation at country level to achieve the global goals and those for Europe and Central Asia set out in the Dublin Declaration.