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How can my sister prevent AIDS

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd April 2013 07:15 PM

My HIV-positive sister was put on ARVs, while she was pregnant to help protect her baby from getting infected. Her CD4 count however, was 457 cells/ml. Unfortunately, she had a premature delivery at eight months and the child passed away after three days.

My HIV-positive sister was put on ARVs, while she was pregnant to help protect her baby from getting infected. Her CD4 count however, was 457 cells/ml. Unfortunately, she had a premature delivery at eight months and the child passed away after three days.

 QDear Doctor, 

My HIV-positive sister was put on ARVs, while she was pregnant to help protect her baby from getting infected. Her CD4 count however, was 457 cells/ml.
 
Unfortunately, she had a premature delivery at eight months and the child passed away after three days. She was depressed and though she had been advised to continue taking ARVs after delivery, we realised recently that she has not been taking her drugs. She has no complaints, but we are wondering what can be done to protect her from developing AIDS.  
Leah
 
ADear Leah, 
We advise all PLHIV who start taking ARVs, regardless of their CD4 count not to stop the treatment. This is because when you take ARVs and stop, HIV has characteristics of developing resistance to drugs used in this way. Although people dread the idea of taking drugs all their lives, there are benefits of doing so. One of them is that people, who start on ARVs early, have fewer chances of developing AIDS. 
 
Secondly, putting PLHIV on drugs early helps reduce the number of new infections because their viral load in the blood is reduced, sometimes to undetectable levels; thus making them less likely to transmit the disease. 
 
What your sister needs is counselling, including bereavement counselling, so that she can cope with the loss of her baby and live positively with HIV. Positive living is important for people living with HIV because as TASO puts it, it is: “putting pieces together and beginning to live again”.
Unless this is done, the elimination of mother-to-
child transmission of HIV, using the Option B+ strategy, which aims at putting all HIV positive mothers on ARVs for life, will fail. 
 
So, both HIV-positive and negative people need to support each other so that we stop AIDS-related deaths and eliminate this disease from our midst in the long run.
 

How can my sister prevent AIDS

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