Introduction The Chinese government has invested US$140 million annually on prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. This study evaluates the programme by examining the improvements in programme coverage HIV testing and provision of antiviral drugs along the PMTCT cascade.
Methods Data for PMTCT cascade indicators were collected through a comprehensive systematic review of published peer-reviewed English and Chinese literature during 2003–2011. Meta-analysis was conducted according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines.
Results This study included 113 publications. HIV prevalence among pregnant women in China who accessed antenatal care (ANC) remained below 0.1% during the past decade. HIV testing coverage in pregnant women attending ANC and in HIV-exposed infants at 18 months significantly increased from 62.4% (95% CI 4.7% to 98.2%) and 22.1% (16.3% to 32.3%) in 2003 to 90.3% (88.4% to 91.8%) and 82.8% (66.9% to 99.5%) in 2011 respectively, whereas antiretroviral (ARV) prophylaxis uptake increased from 35.2% (12.2% to 47.3%) and 26.9% (24.3% to 28.9%) to 86.2% (53.2% to 97.2%) and 90.3% (85.5% to 93.7%). HIV vertical transmission rate substantially decreased from 31.8% (25.7% to 38.6%) prior to the programme to 2.3% (1.4% to 3.8%) in 2011. During 2003–2011, among 25 312 (23 995–26 644) infants born to HIV-positive mothers who received ARV prophylaxis, 975 (564–1395) were diagnosed with HIV, corresponding to an average transmission rate of 3.9% (3.2% to 4.6%). However, while including transmissions among HIV-positive pregnant women who were lost along the cascade, the average transmission rate during 2003–2011 was 17.4% (15.8% to 19.0%).
Conclusions PMTCT programmes have reduced HIV mother-to-child transmission in China. Further improvements in the continuum of care remain essential in realising the full potential of the programme.
- ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY