Heartwarming News from Power of Love's Pediatric HIV/AIDS care Program
Here is news that will make you dance for joy. In 2012, we had 11 children born in our Prevention Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) Program. We are very excited as all 11 children were born HIV negative. This is remarkable as the new born babies have HIV+ mothers and siblings (who are in our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program). In fact of the 23 children born since we launched the PMTCT program, 22 have been born HIV negative. A picture of Ernest - born HIV negative in our PMTCT program- is given below. Ernest is the youngest of 6 siblings and we hope that he continues to maintain his negative status.
We strongly believe with proper intervention of PMTCT we can reduce/eliminate new pediatric HIV infections. As always, we appreciate your support as we could not have done this without you.
How does the PMTCT program work?
As of Jan 2013, we have 200 HIV positive children in our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program. In addition to providing food, medicines and weekly health check-ups from a health worker/Nurse, the caregivers are provided with voluntary testing and counseling (VCT) services. A record is kept of the status of caregivers and if a HIV positive caregiver becomes pregnant, she is enrolled in our PMTCT program. Given below are the basic steps we follow to maximize the chances of a child being born HIV negative:
1. The Project Nurse Counsels the pregnant women on the importance of preventing the un-born child from contracting HIV.
2. The pregnant lady is referred to the ante-natal clinic for further counseling and is accompanied to the clinic by our staff if necessary.
3. From the second trimester until they give birth, the women are visited regularly by our Nurse/health worker in their homes. Our Nurse and health care workers advise them on the importance of taking ARV's, and monitor their adherence to their ARV regimen. Closer to the expected date of delivery, we intensify our monitoring system.
4. Once the baby is born, we encourage the caregiver to have the baby tested and adhere to the prophylaxis medication that the baby may be put on. We make sure that the baby is given the medication and is tested for HIV two times. If the baby tests HIV positive, she/he is automatically enrolled in our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program.
Thanks again for your support and encouragement.