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Recording / Slides / Resources

Pregnancy and the post-partum period after giving birth are times of heightened HIV risk. Cisgender women are two to three times more likely to acquire HIV during pregnancy and four times more likely post-partum than otherwise. Women who acquire HIV during pregnancy have an 18 percent chance of transmitting HIV to their newborn, which goes up to a 27 percent chance if they acquire HIV while breastfeeding.

Yet, HIV prevention options for pregnant and lactating populations (PLP) are limited, and their inclusion in research inadequate and hence evidence gaps can be seen across the research landscape for new prevention products. Most biomedical HIV prevention research excludes PLP, and those who become pregnant during a trial are typically stopped from further use of the study drug. PLP include cisgender women, transgender men and those who identify as gender non-binary who are able to get pregnant. For transgender and gender-diverse pregnant people, evidence gaps are even further magnified.

Now, more than ever–at a time when the global health community is confronted with the excitement of rapid medical innovation as well as the challenges and responsibilities of ensuring equitable access to all in need– we must take action together to transform the current paradigm and ensure that no women and mothers are left behind.

We must fast-forward to a future when women of reproductive age will no longer shoulder the burden of having fewer options to stay HIV-free or remain healthy and break the chain of HIV transmission.


  • Dr. Elaine Abrams, Columbia University
  • Raniyah Copeland, Equity & Impact Solutions
  • Dr. Lisa Noguchi, Jhpiego, Johns Hopkins University
  • Dr. Lynda Stranix-Chibanda, University of Zimbabwe


  • Dr. Dvora Joseph Davey, UCLA
  • Catherine Verde Hashim, AVAC