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close this bookPrevention of HIV Transmission from Mother to Child: Strategic options (Best Practice - Key Material) (UNAIDS, 1999, 24 p.)
close this folder1. Introduction
View the document(introduction...)
View the document1.1 The risk of MTCT
View the document1.2 Prevention strategies
View the document1.3 The cost of inaction

1.3 The cost of inaction

The cost of doing nothing to reduce MTCT will depend a great deal on the prevalence of HIV infection among parents-to-be. In areas where 20% or more of pregnant women are HIV-positive, the financial cost of caring for sick and dying HIV-infected children will be enormous, and there will be significant loss of the benefits from the huge commitment of time, energy and resources spent on reducing child morbidity and mortality over recent decades. Where HIV prevalence is low, health care costs will be relatively low too, and the waste of resources already spent on child survival not quite so dramatic. However, the costs for families and communities cannot be measured in financial terms alone, and many couples will bear responsibility for looking after their infected babies, often while struggling to cope with their own ill-health.