Percent of population who know methods of preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV
The percent of women and men who correctly respond to prompted questions about preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV through antiretroviral therapy and avoidance of breastfeeding
Respondents in a population survey answer a series of questions about the transmission and prevention of HIV. (See previous indicators: Percent of population who correctly identify ways of preventing HIV and Percent of population who reject incorrect beliefs about AIDS.) Among these are questions about whether HIV can be transmitted from mother to child and about means of preventing mother to child transmission.
The indicator is the number of respondents who say that HIV transmission from women who have tested HIV positive can be prevented by the mother taking drugs during pregnancy, and by the mother avoiding breastfeeding, divided by the total number of respondents to the survey.
This indicator is calculated as:
(# of respondents who say that a mother can avoid MTCT of HIV by taking drugs during pregnancy and by avoiding breastfeeding / Total # of respondents) x 100
Self-reported data from survey respondents
UNAIDS general population survey; DHS AIDS module; FHI BSS (adult)
This indicator examines whether women and men know of PMTCT methods. In this field, as in the field of prevention of sexual transmission, knowledge is a prerequisite for decision-making and intervention, although by no means sufficient to ensure it.
This indicator measures people’s knowledge of methods to prevent transmission from mother to child through antiretroviral therapy and avoidance of breastfeeding. Men‘s knowledge in this area is also important, not least because in many societies men dominate decisions about family formation and childbearing, so the indicator is constructed for both sexes. Because most behavior change communication campaigns in this area aim to reach women, program managers will want to monitor program effectiveness by disaggregating the indicator by gender.
This indicator presupposes that efforts are being made to educate women about maternal to child transmission of HIV and that information about prevention forms part of that education.
The knowledge that transmission from mother to child can be prevented is likely to shape women‘s care-seeking and breastfeeding behavior. A pregnant woman who simply knows that she can pass HIV on to her child is less likely to seek to know her HIV status than a pregnant woman who knows that she can avoid transmitting HIV to her child.
In many countries in Latin America and elsewhere, the demand for prevention has driven a radical improvement in service provision for pregnant women with HIV. Such a demand will only arise if people know that therapy exists and can effectively reduce transmission of HIV to infants.
The indicator does not distinguish in its denominator between those who know about maternal to child transmission and those who do not, because people who do not know that such transmission can be prevented are definitely among those who have not been reached with information about prevention methods. The questioning sequence does, however, allow countries to construct an indicator of knowledge about HIV transmission from mother to child should they wish.
breastfeeding (BF), safe motherhood (SM), newborn (NB), knowledge, HIV/AIDS