Concept Mapping of PMTCT Implementation Challenges and Solutions Across 6 sub-Saharan African Countries in the NIH-PEPFAR PMTCT Implementation Science Alliance

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2016 Aug 1;72 Suppl 2:S202-6. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000001064.


Objective: Although tremendous gains have been made to reduce mother-to-child HIV transmission (MTCT) globally, evidence-based practice implementation remains inconsistent in sub-Saharan Africa. We sought to identify the key domains for effective prevention of MTCT (PMTCT) implementation, using a participatory mixed-methods approach.

Methods: Participants were members of the NIH-PEPFAR PMTCT Implementation Science Alliance (ISA), a platform of researchers, public-health practitioners, policymakers, and donors supported through NIH/PEPFAR. We used concept mapping to identify priority areas for PMTCT implementation science. Participants responded to the focus question: "In your experience, what factors have facilitated or hindered implementation of PMTCT interventions?" Responses were consolidated into discrete statements, grouped together based on similarity, and rated for importance, changeability, and extent to which ISA participation enhanced the capacity to influence/change the factor.

Results: Using multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis, we identified 12 key domains of PMTCT implementation. Two domains (Governmental Commitment and Data Measurement & Collection) were consistently ranked at or near the top for overall importance, perceived changeability, and enhanced ability to address through ISA participation.

Discussion: Through a stakeholder-based, participatory approach, we identified key domains for that should be considered for future PMTCT implementation research in sub-Saharan Africa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Africa South of the Sahara
  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Concept Formation*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / prevention & control*
  • Program Evaluation


  • Anti-HIV Agents