An assessment of option B implementation for the prevention of mother to child transmission in Dschang, Cameroon: results from the DREAM (Drug Resource Enhancement against AIDS and Malnutrition) cohort
AbstractIntroduction: Scaling up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) to HIV+ pregnant women is crucial for the elimination of HIV infection in children. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of triple ART for Prevention of Mother-to Child Transmission (PMTCT) in Cameroon. Methods: HIV-positive pregnant women attending the DREAM Centre of Dschang, Cameroon for prenatal care were enrolled in a prospective cohort study, and received ART until the end of breastfeeding or indefinitely if their CD4 count was <350mm3. Infants were evaluated for HIV infection at 1, 6 and 12 months of age. Results: A total of 298 women were enrolled. Among them, 152 were already on established ART. Women were followed until 6 months after delivery with a retention rate of 92.6%. Eight women died. Those with a CD4 count <350 cells/mm3 during pregnancy had the highest mortality risk (RR 2.53; 95% CL= 1.86-3.44). The HIV transmission rate was 1.2% at 12 months with an HIV free survival of 91%. In the proportional Cox regression analysis, the following factors were positively associated with infant mortality: maternal CD4< 350 cells/mm3, no breastfeeding in the first 6 months of life, weight-for-age z score < -2. Conclusion: Results confirm the feasibility and effectiveness of the implementation of Option B, with very low rates of HIV MTC transmission, and potential benefits to the health of mothers and infants with earlier initiation of ART. Breastfeeding again demonstrates to be highly beneficial for the growth and survival of HIV exposed children.
Pan African Medical Journal 2016; 23