Academic Publication

Low mother-to-child HIV transmission rate but high loss-to-follow-up among mothers and babies in Mandalay, Myanmar; a cohort study

Khine Wut Yee Kyaw, Myo Minn Oo, Nang Thu Thu Kyaw, Khaing Hnin Phyo, Thet Ko Aung, Theingi Mya, Nilar Aung, Htun Nyunt Oo, and Petros Isaakidis
Publication Year:
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being

This paper aims to determine the mother-to-child transmission rate in a programmatic setting and to determine factors associated with loss-to-follow-up (LTFU).




Loss-to-follow-up (LTFU) throughout the Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) cascade remains one of the major threats to the success of PMTCT programs. In this study, we aimed to determine the mother-to-child transmission rate in a programmatic setting and to determine factors associated with LTFU among enrolled mothers and unfavorable outcomes among HIV-exposed babies which includes being HIV positive, death and LTFU.


A retrospective cohort study reviewing routinely collected data in an Integrated HIV care program, Mandalay, Myanmar in June 2016.LTFU means mother/infant missing appointed visit for more than three months.


Of 678 pregnant women enrolled in PMTCT program between March 2011 and June 2014, one stillbirth and 607 live births were recorded in this cohort. Of 457 HIV-exposed babies with HIV-test recorded at the end of the intervention, nine (2%) were HIV-positive. Pregnant women’s and exposed-babies’ LTFU rate was 7 per 1000 person-years, and 10 per 1000 person-years respectively. PMTCT option B protocol was found to be significantly associate with maternal LTFU [adjusted Hazard Ratio (aHR) 95% CI: 3.52 (1.38–8.96)] when compare to mothers receiving option B+/lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART). Weight <2.5 Kg at enrolment, receiving mixed-feeding, vaginal delivery and option B PMTCT protocol were significantly associated with unfavorable outcomes among exposed babies [aHR(95% CI): 5.40 (1.66–17.53), 5.91(1.68–20.84), 2.27 (1.22–4.22) and 2.33 (1.16–4.69) respectively].


Mother-to-child HIV transmission rate in this public hospital-based program was lower than the 5% national target, which indicates a successful PMTCT intervention. However, a high proportion of HIV-infected mothers and exposed babies LTFU was recorded. Lifelong ART provision to HIV-positive pregnant women was shown to reduce exposed babies’ LTFU, death and transmission rate (unfavorable outcomes) in this setting. Lessons learned from this program could be used to inform policy and practice in the country, while the programmatic challenge of LTFU should be urgently addressed.



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