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Face HIV, with Dr. Watiti

By Vision Reporter

Added 25th September 2011 03:00 AM

I am HIV-positive. I recently got a partner of the same sero-status, which has made us both very happy. We are both on ARVs. My CD4 count is 375 cells/ml, while his is 320 cells/ml. We would like to have children. How do I get an HIV-negative child?

I am HIV-positive. I recently got a partner of the same sero-status, which has made us both very happy. We are both on ARVs. My CD4 count is 375 cells/ml, while his is 320 cells/ml. We would like to have children. How do I get an HIV-negative child?

We are positive. How do we have an HIV-negative child?

Dear Doctor,

I am HIV-positive. I recently got a partner of the same sero-status, which has made us both very happy. We are both on ARVs. My CD4 count is 375 cells/ml, while his is 320 cells/ml. We would like to have children. How do I get an HIV-negative child?
Please advise.
Lyn

Dear Lyn,

Congratulations on overcoming stigma and starting to live again. That is what positive living is all about: “Putting pieces together and beginning to live again”. It is good that apart from ensuring that you are living a healthy and dignified life in spite of being HIV-positive, you are mindful of not passing on the virus to another person; in this case your baby. It is possible for you to have an HIV-free child even if you are both HIV-positive. However, it is important that you undergo couple counselling so that you make an informed decision because even with the best interventions, there is still a possibility of you passing on HIV to your baby.

You should also have your viral load checked. A high viral load in the mother means she has high chances of transmitting the virus to her baby. Lastly, you should discuss the feeding options you are going to adopt so that you prepare appropriately since HIV can be transmitted from the mother to the baby through breastmilk.

Can I resume my old ARVs after months of break?

Dear Doctor,

I was put on ARVs two years ago while staying with my brother in Kampala. I greatly improved while taking the drugs. Six months ago, my brother passed away and I had to return to the village, where there are no ARVs. I have continued taking Septrin daily, but of late I got herpes (kisipi). I am worried I may develop AIDS again. If I go back to my drugs, should I go to second line or will the old drugs still work for me?
Christine

Dear Christine,

Adherence to ARVs is very important if the drugs are to work for you. ARVs are now available in most health centre IV facilities found in all health sub-districts or constituents of Uganda.

What you need to do is to get a letter of referral from your former health unit explaining your circumstances so that you continue getting your ARVs from the centre nearest to you. When you re-start taking ARVs, you should go back to the drugs you were on before you stopped and not second line drugs since there was no evidence that they failed.

It would be good if you are able to have your CD4 count checked again before you re-start taking the drugs so that a new baseline is established for monitoring purposes.

Face HIV, with Dr. Watiti

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