In South Africa, where a large portion of pregnant women are HIV positive, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) is an important endeavor. To improve the effectiveness of the standard PMTCT programs, the Mamekhaya program used peer mentoring and a culturally adapted cognitive behavioral intervention (CBI).


Targeted Risk Group:
HIV-positive pregnant women


Research Methods:
HIV-positive pregnant women at the Gugulethu Midwife Obstetric Unit and at the Vanguard Community Health Center in Cape Town were invited to participate in the study. Participants at both sites received the standard PMTCT care; however, participants at the Gugulethu site received the Mamekhaya intervention.The first part of the intervention consisted of assigning a participant with a mentor mother through Mothers2mothers. The mentor mother was a woman who was HIV-positive, had recently had a child, and had received PMTCT and was doing well. Participants also attended group sessions of a cognitive-behavioral intervention. The sessions included information on living with HIV, preventing HIV transmission, parenting, social support, and mental health.


Local Significance: 
Participants in the Mamekhaya intervention had increased HIV knowledge scores, significantly increased social support, and significantly decreased depression scores compared to women in the control group.