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Mother-To-Child Transmission Of HIV Can Be Eliminated Through Collective Alliances

“The global economic crisis has caused many to reassess, refocus and redirect financial priorities,” and “[a]s a result, vital international aid to combat global health issues like HIV/AIDS is threatened,” Rhonda Zygocki, executive vice president of policy and planning at Chevron Corporation, and Frank Beadle de Palomo, CEO of mothers2mothers International, write in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog. “But there is good news: Mother-to-child transmission of HIV can be eliminated,” they continue, adding, “Through education, voluntary testing and counseling, antiretroviral therapies, safe delivery practices and breastfeeding protocols, we can ensure babies are born HIV-free.”

“The key to providing women with the prevention, treatment and support they need is through collective alliances to help improve access to health care and social and livelihood support in places like sub-Saharan Africa,” Zygocki and Beadle de Palomo write, adding, “Partnerships between governments, businesses, NGOs and community organizations can help ensure on-the-ground expertise be matched with adequate funding to make a notable impact.” They highlight a partnership between Chevron, mothers2mothers, Pact and the Business Leadership Council launched recently “to strengthen efforts to prevent mother-to-child transmission in Nigeria, where nearly 75,000 babies are born with HIV each year.” They conclude, “Through collaboration, we can meet the UNAIDS goal of eliminating new HIV infections among children by 2015 and protect healthy motherhood” (11/29).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.