Mansa Network of People Living with AIDS operates a program of support in 10 rural clinics. They have achieved impressive results: an increase in male involvement from 10 percent to 60 percent; an increase of people who access treatment by 66 percent; and a reduction in the number of children born HIV positive from 400 to 15. If Mansa Network of People Living with AIDS had the resources, they could reach more couples, mothers, and infants.
Although access to AIDS treatment has reduced the number of children born with HIV in countries like the United States, UNAIDS estimates that more than 1,000 children are newly infected with HIV every day. Nine out of ten are infected during their mother’s pregnancy, delivery, or breast-feeding. More than half of these children will die because they lack access to treatment.
Mansa Network of People Living with AIDS works to reduce the transmission of HIV from mother to child. They do this by engaging men and women to test as a couple, which increases the number of women that are tested. They help women who are HIV positive access treatment and stay healthy through a nutritious diet. Upon birth of the child, they work with the mother-infant pair to ensure proper nutrition, hygiene, medical check-ups, and emotional support.
A generation of children born free of HIV by increasing the number of women who are tested and who access treatment, this effort will decrease the number of children who are born with HIV. By increasing their mother’s access to treatment, they will also have the benefit of a mother who is alive to raise them.