Did you know? 1 baby is born with HIV every day in the US and Europe. 1,000 babies are born with HIV every day in Africa. Yet mother-to-child transmission of HIV is preventable. The organization mothers2mothers (m2m) is doing just that, preventing mother-to-child transmission of the virus. m2m’s vision “is a world in which babies are not infected with HIV and where mothers with HIV/AIDS live long and healthy lives.” It’s mission “is to improve the health of mothers living with HIV, putting them at the heart of efforts to eliminate pediatric AIDS.”
In its own words, m2m’s goals are:
- To prevent transmission of HIV from mothers to their babies
- To improve the well-being of mothers by facilitating access to life-sustaining medical care
- To empower mothers living with HIV to overcome stigma and live positive and productive lives
m2m helps prevent mother-to-child transmission by training and employing mothers who have HIV to teach and support pregnant women and new mothers. They are the Mentor Mothers. To date, according to m2m’s website, 1,469 Mentor mothers work for m2m; they are paid members of its healthcare teams, working alongside the doctors and nurses who care for the pregnant women. In 2011, 242,000 new mothers and pregnant women with HIV enrolled in the m2m program. That program has helped an estimated 20% of HIV-positive pregnant women in the world since 2001.
m2m is thus making a very significant impact in the lives of young women with HIV. It operates in 7 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, employing over 1,600 people, including nearly 1,500 mothers with HIV.