Given the right support, a pregnant woman who is HIV+ can give birth to a healthy, disease-free baby. Tragically a lack of awareness of this fact and available healthcare mean many children are condemned to a life with HIV.
In Mzenga, northern Malawi, the prevalence of HIV is one of the highest in the country. The Mziche project seeks to address this by providing mums with the information and support they need to make the best choices for their families.
"Without an intervention disease will grow, we are looking at wiping out a whole community if there is no intervention" Mphatso Nguluwe, Director of Livingstonia Synod Aids Programme
Mother buddies are women living with HIV who have given birth to babies without the disease. These committed volunteers are sent out by the local church to come alongside women, befriend them and say "look, this is what I did, you can do it to".
The efforts of Mother Buddies are supported by improvements to HIV testing and counseling, better access to drugs and efforts to improve the quality of life for people living with HIV.