The Reporter: Researchers study unique couples intervention in Mozambique to reduce HIV transmission

August 3, 2017

by Bill Snyder | Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, 9:27 AM

Researchers in the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health are testing whether a unique “couples-centered” intervention developed in the southern African nation of Mozambique can reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

By encouraging men to play a larger role in the health care provided to their HIV-infected pregnant wives, they hope the women will be more adherent to anti-retroviral therapy and less likely to pass the AIDS virus to their children before or during birth.

Supported by a five-year, nearly $3-million grant awarded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in May, the study is being conducted in Mozambique’s rugged Zambézia province, where 8 percent of pregnant women tested positive for HIV in 2015.

Without their husbands’ support, more than a third of these women will stop taking their medication within six months, greatly increasing the risk that their babies also will become infected, said Carolyn Audet, Ph.D., M.Sc., the study’s principal investigator.

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