Malawi recently adopted and implemented a policy that puts all pregnant women and breast feeding mothers who are positive with the HIV infection on ARVs or antiretroviral drugs.


Malawi President Arthur Peter Mutharika said this move makes them the first country to do so.


The policy, known as the Protect the Goal Campain, was signed Tuesday at the Sanjika Palace in Blantyre, to show the nation's commitment in fighting the spread of HIV and AIDS.

 


The HIV rates in Malawi have experienced a decrease over the years. Back in 2004, the national HIV prevalence rate stood at 16%, but that number dropped to 10.3% in 2013. Also, new HIV infections have decreased, from 130,000 documented in 1994 to 34,000 in 2013.


The number of AIDS deaths has also dropped from 94,000 in 2004 to 46,000 in 2013.


Mother-to-infant transmission of HIV can be prevented if the woman gets tested and treated for HIV at the soonest chance. The virus can be passed on during pregnancy, upon child delivery, and breastfeeding.


With antiretroviral treatment, mothers can protect their babies from getting infected and stop the spread of the infection to others.


So, it is important to make everyone, not only women, realize the importance of early HIV testing to be able to provide the appropriate treatment solution to fight off the virus.