Over 500 babies are born to HIV+ mothers in St. Petersburg annually. They are at risk of joining 200,000 children under institutional care in Russia because HIV+ women cannot afford to care for their babies. If breastfed, these babies are also at high risk of HIV infection because their mothers cannot afford milk formula. Although most HIV+ mothers are socially disadvantaged, they are not eligible for government benefits because they lack basic paperwork, such as ID or established residency.
Through MAMA+, Doctors to Children will provide 100 most at-risk HIV-positive mothers with milk formula and child care supplies, as well as with assistance accessing public services and benefits. This will help babies stay with their mothers and prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Children born to HIV-positive mothers in St. Petersburg, Russia, are provided with equal life chances to live healthy lives with their families. Women living with HIV are empowered to bring up their children free of HIV infection.