Maternal Health Task Force

MHTF Blog

Maternal Health, HIV, and AIDS: Examining Research Through a Programmatic Lens

By: Kate Mitchell, Manager of the MHTF Knowledge Management System, Women and Health Initiative; Samantha Lattof, Project Manager, Maternal Health Task Force, Women and Health Initiative

This post is the first in a blog series on maternal health, HIV, and AIDS. To view the entire series, click here.

Women and girls are increasingly and disproportionately affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic and now comprise over half of those living with HIV. According to recent estimates from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, not only is the proportion of pregnancy-related and maternal deaths attributable to HIV higher than expected, but pregnant women with HIV are eight times more likely to die than women without HIV. The feminized HIV and AIDS epidemic is one factor limiting progress in the reduction of maternal mortality. As the global community discusses bold visions for new targets to reduce maternal mortality, researchers from both the HIV and maternal health communities must come together to share knowledge and build a path to improved women-centered programming.

Over the next several weeks, the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) will share a series of guest blog posts from our colleagues who are working in maternal health, HIV, and AIDS. The posts will cover topics such as:

  • An exploration of a particularly groundbreaking approach used in a specific country to integrate and improve maternal health and HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, or care
  • Experiences managing HIV-related comorbidities and obstetric complications
  • Analyses of a persistent barrier to integrating and/or improving quality of maternal health care and HIV/AIDS care for women
  • Country responses to the World Health Organization’s new guidelines for prevention of mother-to-child-transmission of HIV and antiretroviral therapy as well as country experiences in implementing these guidelines
  • Experiences addressing the demand side—or how to facilitate interest on the part of women and their families to demand higher quality maternal health and HIV services
  • Implications for policymakers on the measurement of direct and indirect causes of maternal deaths related to HIV

In addition to the blog series, the MHTF will convene the technical meeting Maternal health, HIV, and AIDS: Examining research through a programmatic lens starting on 10 June 2013, in collaboration with USAID and CDC. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss emerging research linking maternal health and HIV, identify research gaps, and consider programmatic implications. While there is a need for significant investment in this issue around the globe, the focus of this particular meeting is Africa.

Finally, our Maternal Health, HIV, and AIDS topics page highlights resources, recent publications, videos, and blog posts, along with the organizations working on maternal health, HIV, and AIDS.  The page is a work-in-progress. Please check back frequently for new content. The MHTF is always looking for new resources, research, and news.  We welcome any feedback or resources you have to share on our topics page.

Stay tuned to the MHTF for upcoming blog posts about maternal health, HIV, and AIDS as well as daily summaries and a final report from the meeting. If you are interested in sharing your maternal health, HIV, and AIDS research and expertise on the MHTF Blog, please contact Kate Mitchell (kmitchel@hsph.harvard.edu) or Samantha Lattof (slattof@hsph.harvard.edu).

To view the blog series, click here. For additional information about maternal health, HIV, and AIDS, visit our topic pageTo follow the meeting on Twitter starting 10 June 2013, use #MHHIV.

Categories: Maternal Health, HIV & AIDS Series

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