Many of us believe that an HIV positive woman cannot become pregnant because of her infection, but my experience has taught me that these women can conceive and can deliver healthy babies. It does, however, take expert attention and good care and monitoring.
And of course we do counsel couples where at least one partner is
positive always to use condoms to avoid infection or re-infection. But sometimes it happens...
Wema Sanga first tested positive in late 2004 at the CTC in Bulongwa with a CD4 count of 469. She became pregnant in May of 2005. After six months, her regular monitoring tests and her pregnancy suggested that she begin on ARV drugs.
On March 9, 2006, she had a baby boy through normal delivery and with PMTCT+ available. Wema and her baby are doing fine. Her son now weighs 7.2 kg.
Counselling was given to her family and neighbours during her pregnancy to reduce the chance that she might be stigmatized because of her infection or because of her pregnancy as an HIV+ woman.
Wema is a member of the Executive Committee of the HIV+ activist group PIUMA and is a leader in its efforts to build a brighter future for all HIV+ people in Makete District and in Tanzania.
KWA PAMOJA TUTASHINDA! (Together we will succeed!)
July 10, 2006.