The Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS (PPTCT) programme was launched in the country in the year 2002 following a feasibility study in 11 major hospitals in the five high HIV prevalence states. As on 31stAugust 2016 in India there are 20,756 Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres (ICTC), most of these in government hospitals, which offer PPTCT services to pregnant women.
The NACO Technical Estimate Report (2015) estimated that out of 29 million annual pregnancies in India, 35,255 occur in HIV positive pregnant women. In the absence of any intervention, an estimated (2015) cohort of 10,361 infected babies will be born annually. The PPTCT programme aims to prevent the perinatal transmission of HIV from an HIV infected pregnant mother to her newborn baby. The programme entails counselling and testing of pregnant women in the ICTCs.
With effect from 1st January 2014, pregnant women who are found to be HIV positive are initiated on lifelong ART irrespective of CD4 count and WHO clinical Staging; their newborn (HIV exposed) babies are initiated on 6 weeks of Syrup Nevirapine immediately after birth so as to prevent transmission of HIV from mother to child and is extended to 12 weeks of Syrup Nevirapine if the duration of the ART of mother is less than 24 weeks.
The HIV exposed baby is initiated on Cotrimoxazole prophylaxis at 6 weeks and is tested for HIV DNA PCR at 6 weeks by DBS (Dry Blood Spot) collection. If the DBS sample is positive for HIV DNA PCR, then a repeat DBS sample is tested for HIV DNA PCR. The HIV exposed baby is then initiated on lifelong ART at the earliest if confirmed HIV positive through 2 DNA PCR test.
The PPTCT services cover about 47 percent annual estimated pregnancies in the country. In the year 2015-16, 12.7 million pregnant women accessed this service. Of these, 11,918 pregnant women were HIV positive. In order to provide universal access to these services further scale up is planned up to the level of Community Health Centre and the Primary Health Centre through NHM integration, as well as private sector by forging public-private partnerships.