New PMTCT Treatment Literacy Guide: Taking Action for Women’s Health!

To mark the International Day of Action for Women’s Health, GNP+, ICW and the IATT are launching “Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention for Women and their Babies: A treatment literacy guide for pregnant women and mothers living with HIV”

In line with the Day of Action’s call for a holistic inclusive and human rights-based approach to women and girls’ health, this new treatment literacy guide is a practical informative tool that reflects the latest WHO guidelines.

Available in both English and French, the guide is designed to offer a complete package of guidance for women living with HIV who are pregnant or considering getting pregnant.

Women living with HIV from eight countries have shared their expertise to shape the content and design of the guide and it was formulated in direct response to a call from communities for up-to-date, evidence-based resources.

Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention for Women and their Babies: A treatment literacy guide for pregnant women and mothers living with HIV is intended for use by networks of women living with HIV, women’s groups, peer educators and others wishing to provide information and guidance to support women living with HIV through the decisions they will need to make before, during and after their pregnancy.

The guide has 12 modules covering issues ranging from human rights to treatment adherence and nutrition. It is made up of three separate tools:

  • facilitator’s manual
  • illustrated flipchart
  • accessible poster.

The facilitator’s manual and flipchart are intended to be used together by leaders of support groups, peer educators or lay counselors to facilitate small groups or community sessions with women living with HIV. The poster can be displayed anywhere where it will be seen by women living with HIV and their families, such as: clinic rooms, church halls, waiting rooms and community education spaces.

Quotes from the community

“When we piloted the materials, for the PMTCT guide the flipchart captured the women’s attention, ensuring a highly interactive discussion in which
everyone participated.

Women in our support groups have shared that they get a lot of mixed messages and poor information, and they hope this PMTCT guide will open a dialogue
on how best to ensure that women living with HIV have correct information and practical support for their pregnancy and experiences of motherhood.”

Janet Bhila, ICW Zimbabwe

“The treatment literacy guide on PMTCT is one of its kind in Zambia. NZP+ and other community groups have been waiting for such a tool to guide us
in our efforts to support women living with HIV to make informed decisions about their lives, free of stigma. The design and format would work
very well in our country. NZP+ has community and health facility based supporters who conduct weekly/ monthly support sessions with women living
with HIV on various health issues including family planning and PMTCT and we look forward to using the guide during these sessions.”

Eunice Sinyemu, Executive Director, NZP+, Zambia

“Enfin un outil qui peut nous permettre de booster les choses, de nous activer en tant que femmes vivant avec le VIH pour emmener les femmes concernées
elles même à comprendre les contours de la PTME.” (“Finally a tool that allows us to advance, to rise up as women living with HIV to lead women
to engage themselves in understanding the issues surrounding PMTCT”).

“En plus cet outil facilitera aussi le renforcement des réseaux des femmes et leur leadership.”

(“This tool will also strengthen networks
of women and their leaders.”)

Calorine Kenkem, Présidente fondatrice de CCAF+, Cameroun

“As a West African activist on PMTCT, I noticed that our communities don’t always have access to or understand the global guidelines from WHO. The
technical language with no images, was hard to communicate at a community level. There was a kind of disconnect between the global level and community

We welcome this treatment literacy guide for PMTCT. It will allow women to more easily understand the latest science and a comprehensive approach to
PMTCT along all four pillars.”

Sylvere Bukiki, Regional Director, ITPC West Africa

This guide was developed by members of the Community Engagement Working Group (CEWG) of the Inter-Agency Task Team (IATT) for Prevention and Treatment
of HIV Infection in Pregnant Women, Mother and Children, a group committed to strengthening global, regional and national partnerships and programs
that address the survival of pregnant women, mothers and children living with HIV.