Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


W.M. Keck Science Department

Reader 1

Gretchen Edwalds-Gilbert

Reader 2

Alicia Bonaparte

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2015 Elizabeth Ach


In 2013, 2 million people were newly infected with HIV, and 11% of those new infections were infants that obtained the disease from their mother. In resource poor settings, like Sub-Saharan Africa, infection rates from mother to child can range from 15-45%. With proper prevention of mother to child transmission (MTCT), these rates can drop to 5%. Proper prevention includes the use of antiretroviral treatment (ART) during pregnancy, delivery, and post-partum and breastfeeding. In 2010, WHO proposed a model that required all HIV positive mothers to receive ART. The model successfully increased the amount of women on treatment, and many countries also saw a decrease in the rate of MTCT, however barriers still exist. In my thesis, I explain how HIV attacks an individual’s immune system, and why it has been such a difficult epidemic to control in regards to mother to child transmission. I also examine how different models of prevention are successful, and why Option B+, proposed by WHO in 2010, has been the most successful. Lastly, I propose new additions to the model in an attempt to circumvent the barriers.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.