One of Project ARK’s most significant achievements has been the reduction of mother-to-child HIV transmission across the MO/IL bi-state service region. Our program has partnered with regional HIV testing sites to create a well-established system for persons living with HIV who are pregnant to be referred to our Part D program for care and follow-up.

Our Perinatal Program includes both Washington University and SLUCare medical providers and provides intensive medical care coordination for the mother and infant to ensure their linkage and retention in HIV and obstetric medical care. A team comprised of a nurse and case manager work in partnership with the mother and infant’s medical providers (Washington University, SLUCare, or other) to provide education and address barriers to care which are identified.  As a result of these collaborative efforts, perinatal HIV infection has nearly been eradicated in the region.

When HIV positive women take medication during pregnancy and labor and the baby takes medication for 6 weeks after delivery, risk of infection is less than 1-2%. It is most effective to start medication early in the pregnancy, however, taking medication at any point can provide some protection to your baby.

The Perinatal HIV Working Group is a multidisciplinary group including physicians, nurse practitioners, peer navigators, nurses and social workers established to work toward elimination of perinatal HIV transmission at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, and the surrounding area. We oversee HIV testing with pregnant patients receiving prenatal care at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University. Our team provides care to all persons living with HIV who are pregnant and deliver at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and provides consultation and support for patients receiving care at other St. Louis regional providers.

For more information about this program, contact the nurse at (314) 458-7820 or case manager at (314) 454-2647.