New HIV infections among children eliminated and their mothers’ health and well-being is sustained.

Scale-up of prevention of mother-to-child services is one of the greatest public health achievements. In less than two decades, an estimated 1.9 million new HIV infections in children have been averted by providing ARV medicines to pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV. Just over half of those infections were averted between 2010 and 2015. During that period, global coverage of effective maternal ART to prevent vertical transmission of HIV almost doubled from 45% in 2010 to 82% in 2015. Since then, however, global progress has stagnated with slow increases. Coverage has increased by only 1-2 percentage points each year. Thus, elimination of mother-to-child transmission (eMTCT) remains a priority for the Joint Programme in 2020–2021.

The transition to the Start Free Stay Free AIDS Free Framework created pathways to ensure that all pregnant women can access antiretroviral medicines and that they are retained in treatment and care; all HIV-exposed infants have access to antiretroviral prophylaxis to prevent infection; human rights and gender equality are upheld in eMTCT efforts; and community engagement is ensured. Through the framework, the Joint Programme continues to prioritize necessary actions in the 21 countries where more than 80% of pregnant women and children living with HIV reside. In 2019, 150 000 children newly acquired HIV—far more than the 20 000 global target for new infections for 2020 and whereas Eastern and Southern Africa already achieved the 2020 target of 95% maternal antiretroviral treatment coverage, in four other regions it remained below 60%.

Find more details in the SRA report.

Outputs 2016-2021

2.1Access to and quality of comprehensive eMTCT services improved



Targets and Milestones 2020 Progress
Percentage of countries implementing latest eMTCT guidance

2021: 100%

2019: 95%

2017: 90%

68% [59/87]

Data source: 2020 JPMS country reports. Final numbers may vary slightly.