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Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases [TDR], 2006. 25 p. (TDR/SDI/06.1.)Syphilis is a curable infection caused by a bacterium called Treponema pallidum. This infection is sexually transmitted, and can also be passed on from a mother to her fetus during pregnancy. As a cause of genital ulcer disease, syphilis has been associated with an increased risk of HIV transmission and acquisition. Most persons with syphilis tend to be unaware of their infection and they can transmit the infection to their sexual contacts or, in the case of a pregnant woman, to her unborn child. If left untreated, syphilis can cause serious consequences such as stillbirth, prematurity and neonatal deaths. Adverse outcomes of pregnancy are preventable if the infection is detected and treated before mid-second trimester. Early detection and treatment is also critical in preventing severe long term complications in the patient and onward transmission to sexual partners. Congenital syphilis kills more than one million babies a year worldwide but is preventable if infected mothers are identified and treated appropriately as early as possible. (excerpt)
WHO - UNAIDS - UNICEF Technical Consultation on HIV and Infant Feeding: Implementation of Guidelines. Report of a meeting -- Geneva, 20-22 April 1998.
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 1998.  p.The Guidelines and Guide recognise that: HIV infection can be transmitted through breastfeeding. Appropriate alternatives to breastfeeding should be available and affordable in adequate amounts for women whom testing has shown to be HIV-positive. Breastfeeding is the ideal way to feed the majority of infants. Efforts to protect, promote and support breastfeeding by women who are HIV-negative or of unknown HIV status need to be strengthened; HIV-positive mothers should be enabled to make fully informed decisions about the best way to feed their infants in their particular circumstances. Whatever they decide, they should receive educational, psychosocial and material support to carry out their decision as safely as possible, including access to adequate alternatives to breastfeeding if they so choose; To make fully informed decisions about infant feeding, as well as about other aspects of HIV, mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) and reproductive life, women need to know and accept their HIV status. There is thus an urgent need to increase access to voluntary and confidential counselling and HIV testing (VCT), and to promote its use by women and when possible their partners, before making alternatives to breastfeeding available; An essential priority is primary prevention of HIV infection. Education for all adults of reproductive age, particularly for pregnant and lactating women and their sexual partners, and for young people, needs to be strengthened; Women who are HIV positive need to understand the particular importance of avoiding infection during pregnancy and lactation. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2002.  p. (WHO/HIV/2002.08)HIV among children is a growing problem, particularly in the countries hardest hit by the AIDS epidemic. The overwhelming majority of infected children acquire the infection through mother-to-child transmission. Prevention of HIV infection in infants and young children is now a high priority and has been the rallying point for enhanced prevention efforts. While HIV infection among infants is a problem all over the world, it is most acute in sub-Saharan Africa, where almost 90% of all HIV infected children live. HIV/AIDS is wiping out years of progress in improving child survival. It is already responsible for substantially increasing the mortality rates of children under 5 years of age, which could double in some countries by the year 2010 due to the impact of AIDS. (excerpt)
New York, New York, Population Council, 2004 Apr. 40 p.Preventing unintended pregnancy among HIV-positive women through family planning services is one of the four cornerstones of a comprehensive program for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT). Reducing unintended pregnancies among HIV-positive women through family planning reduces the number of children potentially orphaned when parents die of AIDS-related illnesses. It also reduces HIV-positive women's vulnerability to morbidity and mortality related to pregnancy and lactation. In addition, family planning for both HIV-positive and -negative women safeguards their health by enabling them to space births. The global public health community––NGOs, governments, and international donors–– has mobilized to design and provide essential PMTCT services: voluntary counseling and testing (VCT), infant feeding counseling, outreach to communities and families, and a short course of antiretroviral therapy. In most cases, the implementation approach has been to incorporate PMTCT into services that already reach pregnant women and women of childbearing age: antenatal care, obstetrical care, and maternal/child health. Yet the complexity of introducing PMTCT into the real world—that is, existing health services in resource-poor settings—soon became clear. Population Council and its research partners have been addressing several key questions about PMTCT services and how well they function in field settings. This report reviews field experiences with the integration of family planning and PMTCT services. It is hoped that this review will provide evidence and information for developing effective strategies for appropriately promoting family planning within PMTCT programs. (excerpt)