In her plenary remarks, Philippa Musoke (Uganda), of the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Makerere University, argued that although progress had been made in reducing maternal and child mortality in most regions of the world, in most countries this improvement remains inadequate to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 by 2015.
In sub-Saharan Africa, HIV infection contributes significantly to the morbidity and mortality of women and children. Without antiretroviral therapy, HIV-infected children have a very high mortality with 50 per cent dying by two years of age. Over the last decade the reductions in maternal and child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia have been related to implementation of prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) programmes.
Further scale-up of PMTCT programmes and coverage is critical to improving the lives of infected women and children. In addition, education of the girl child, empowering women to be economically independent and the provision of family planning services are critical to improving maternal health and survival. Strengthening national Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) programmes for the provision of antenatal and postnatal care for all pregnant women, increased immunization coverage rates, exclusive breastfeeding and nutritional support for all infants remains a priority.
Towards an HIV Cure
Eric Verdin (Belgium), Professor of Medicine, University of California, concluded the morning plenary by stating that the eradication of HIV would require the elimination of persistent HIV during suppressive therapy.
The source of persistent HIV in patients on HAART suppressive therapy is a current topic of debate. Recent studies of treatment intensification have showed persistent viremia may arise from several different sources, including latent HIV in resting CD4 T cells.
HIV eradication strategies curren
|Contact: Lindsey Rodger|
International AIDS Society