Perinatal HIV Prevention Project

Perinatal HIV Prevention

The HFP Perinatal HIV Prevention Project is a federally funded collaboration between HFP, the AIDS Activities Coordinating Office (AACO) of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH), and ActionWellness (formerly ActionAIDS).  The goals of this project are to improve the quality of local healthcare and prevention services for pregnant and postpartum women living with HIV, reduce mother-to-child HIV transmission, and improve long-term health outcomes for HIV+ women and their children.

Since 2012 the Perinatal HIV Prevention Project has provided support to local prenatal care providers through training and technical assistance, on-going education, and facilitation of connections and communication between various members of the health care and social service teams.

Did you know preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV is one of the biggest public health successes in recent decades? In 1996, clinical trials showed that HIV medication is safe and effective in pregnancy, and, since 2006, it has been the standard of care in the U.S. to test all pregnant women for HIV as part of routine prenatal care. A pregnant woman infected with HIV can be given medication and take other steps that can greatly reduce the risk of passing HIV to her baby to less than 1%. Without HIV treatment, the chance of mother-to-child HIV transmission during pregnancy, labor, or delivery is 25%.  

For the latest guidelines on the clinical management of HIV (including issues in pregnancy), go to https://aidsinfo.nih.gov/guidelines.

Every perinatal HIV transmission is preventable and represents missed opportunities such as engagement with medical, behavioral health, and social service systems. Since the late 1990s, HFP has been involved in provider education and technical assistance aiming to reduce our local mother-to-child HIV transmissions to zero.

The Perinatal HIV Prevention Project:

  • Provides outreach and updates for providers serving pregnant and postpartum women on best practices to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission
  • Identifies and/or creates perinatal HIV educational resources for these providers which can be accessed here.
  • Leads a local Fetal and Infant Mortality Review project specific to HIV-exposed infants and their mothers (FIMR/HIV)
    • Through blinded, surveillance-based case chart reviews, this FIMR/HIV process focuses on identifying and implementing systems-level changes aimed at reducing perinatal HIV exposures and transmissions, and improving HIV+ women’s health outcomes
  • Provides monthly nurse educator consultations and case review with Action Wellness Perinatal Medical Case Managers

Our partners include:

  • Action Wellness is a nonprofit organization serving the Greater Philadelphia area that assists people affected by chronic diseases so they don’t have to go it alone.  Their staff help with all of the practical challenges faced by those fighting illness and provide support and care. Action Wellness Perinatal Medical Case Management is an intensive program of adherence, care coordination and other support available to any pregnant HIV+ woman, who is a Philadelphia resident or is receiving health care in Philadelphia, during her pregnancy and up to one year post-partum. 
  • The AIDS Activities Coordinating Office (AACO) funds a range of programs to prevent and treat HIV, with a goal to make sure that everyone has access to the services and information they need, especially in those communities most affected by HIV. General information and access to HIV medical case management, testing and HIV care is available at AACO's Health Information Helpline at 215-985-2437.

For general program information, contact Kristin Walker, RN, MSN, CNM | Perinatal HIV Prevention Project Coordinator: kwalker@healthfederation.org or 215-977-7256.

For more information on Action Wellness Perinatal Medical Case Management, contact Sara Cifuentes: scifuentes@actionwellness.org or 215-586-7602.