A new short film is raising awareness of the 1.3 million HIV positive babies born in Africa each year. With access to the right drugs mother-to-child transmission of HIV is almost entirely preventable
Remember all those 80s scare stories about AIDs babies? Today, because of major treatment breakthroughs in administering HIV anti-retroviral drugs in labour, HIV-positive pregnant women have a less than one per cent chance of passing the virus on to their babies.
Yet 700 babies are still born HIV-positive every day – 90 per cent of them in sub Saharan Africa where 1.3 million HIV-positive women will transmit the virus to their babies in the next year. Over half these babies will die before their second birthday.
The charity mothers2mothers is changing that by training HIV-positive mothers to support their peers in Africa.
High profile founder Dr Mitch Besser, who is married to HIV campaigner and pop star Annie Lennox, has teamed up with ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Danish film director Martin de Thurah to release two short films raising awareness of this issue ahead of World Aids Day on December 1st.
In the first film, A World Apart, a pregnant white woman is portrayed in the surroundings of the developed world going through a typical scenario that would face a HIV positive woman in sub-Saharan Africa. This includes walking long stretches beside a motorway to the clinic to be tested, family stigma and giving birth alone.
The second film, A World with Mothers2Mothers, Denise, from Cape Town in South Africa recalls the day she found out she was HIV positive.
‘It was like the world was giving up on me’ , Denise says. She was introduced to a ‘mentor mother’ in the mothers2mothers programme who supported her throughout the pregnancy and delivery.
If you’re thinking of making a donation, £5 will help provide peer education and support to one HIV-positive woman like Denise, over the course of her entire pregnancy.
Join the discussion on Twitter #preventbabyhiv
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