Stopping HIV transmission from mothers to children

Preventing the transmission of HIV from mother to child could be the first step to an Aids-free generation. Singer Annie Lennox and husband Mitch Besser are leading the fight to stop the disease being passed on.

Thirty years after the disease became a health crisis, the prospect of a generation living without HIV/Aids is becoming more likely. More effective anti-retroviral drugs and regimens are dramatically cutting the chances of an infected mother passing on the disease to her baby during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Husband and wife team Annie Lennox and Dr Mitch Besser are working to create a world where babies are not infected with HIV and where mothers with HIV/Aids live long and healthy lives.

Mitch Besser is founder and medical director of mothers2mothers, which provides education and support services to improve the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in sub-Saharan Africa. It employs and trains mothers living with HIV to work in health centres – which also helps ensure they keep taking their medication. Working with some 400 health centres, it is part of the UN’s Global Plan to end pediatric Aids by 2015.

His wife, the former Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox, founded the SING Campaign in 2007 to help prevent the spread of HIV in South Africa. Lennox is an ambassador for Oxfam, Nelson Mandela’s 46664 Campaign, Amnesty International, and several other organizations.

Lennox and Besser spoke to BBC Future at the Aspen Ideas Festival. (All background footage courtesy of Nick Fletcher/La Lennoxa Ltd)

If you would like to comment on this video or anything else you have seen on Future, head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter.