Thursday, June 24, 2010

HIV and Pregnancy: A Death Sentence?

HIV and Pregnancy: A Death Sentence? | Abortion Gang

By now, I think everyone knows that HIV/AIDS is a major problem, especially in Africa. Poor medical care and lack of knowledge on the disease (even here in the U.S.) have caused fear, misconceptions, dread, and depression for those who contract it. For years, becoming pregnant after contracting HIV was a death sentence for the resulting child.

A few years ago, scientists discovered a “miracle” treatment for pregnant women with HIV–a way for her to deliver the baby without the child contracting HIV. Doctors and humanitarians alike cheered this wonderful treatment. Finally, a solution to the problem of mother-to-baby transmission.

I’m kicking myself at the moment for not being able to find the interview I heard on the radio, on NPR I believe, in which a doctor discussed this procedure. However, I did find a study done in Africa on the treatment.

The woman is given a shot of nevirapine, one drug of a three drug “cocktail” used to help the immune system in AIDS treatment, during labor. The child is then given a shot of it after birth. The majority of the time, this treatment is effective in preventing the transmission, and the child is spared from the terrible life of an HIV patient.

However, what other scientists have just discovered is that the use of nevirapine during labor is actually detrimental to the mother’s treatment later. There is a chance that the mother will become resistant to nevirapine, which renders useless the three drug “cocktail” used for HIV/AIDS treatment for her later. She will die sooner because of this. Her child will be without a mother.

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