Born to Live
Country of Operation
Target income level
- Bottom 20%
- Lower-middle income (20-40%)
- Middle-income (40-60%)
- Maternal, newborn and child health
SummaryBorn to Live employs mothers living with HIV to mentor HIV-positive pregnant women and new mothers in health facilities. They work side-by-side with doctors and nurses, supporting and educating women about how to take their medicines, care of themselves, and their babies.
Without intervention, up to 40 percent of infants born to HIV-positive mothers will become infected with the virus that causes AIDS. The Mentor Mothers project through the Born to Live program reduces the risk of HIV transmission by at least half by providing antiretroviral drug therapies (ART) for HIV-positive mothers and their children.
Key program components
CMMB employs HIV-positive mothers who received care through the Born to Live program to counsel women and their partners who are facing HIV and pregnancy for the first time. The program uses education and empowerment to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS during pregnancy, combat stigma within families and communities, support a mother’s adherence to medical treatment, and reduce the likelihood of AIDS orphans.
The other components of this program are:
In one-on-one and group sessions, pregnant women living with HIV are educated and advised on how to keep themselves healthy, and what steps they can take to have a healthy HIV-free baby.
“Mentor Mothers,” mothers living with HIV themselves that have been trained to provide life-saving health education and psychosocial support to their peers, are a crucial component of Born to Live. Mentor Mothers become role models in their communities, putting a face to empowered, strong, and healthy HIV-positive women. They provide a network of support for all mothers in the community.
Complex challenges such as stigma and health worker shortages are addressed though this model. Mentor Mothers act as powerful agents against the stigma of HIV. They work alongside doctors and nurses as critical members of the healthcare team, filling critical gaps in understaffed health centers and clinics.
The program also combines voluntary HIV counseling and testing of expectant mothers with the administration of antiretrovirals prior to and following delivery, to help prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Sites offering Mentor Mothers services: 64 New client interactions:102,869 New mentor mothers: 176 Pregnant or post-natal HIV-positive women receiving support: 22,478
- Catholic Medical Mission BoardNot-for-profit