Joan was only 19 when she realized she was HIV positive. She had been sick for weeks, suffering from headaches, fever, and fatigue – and after a friend suggested she visits Alive Medical Services (AMS), she made an appointment to be tested. That day, Joan was counselled, diagnosed and immediately enrolled in care.
“I was continuously supported by the AMS doctors and counsellors,” Joan said. “They directed me on how to take medicine very well. Within five months, I felt very stable and very strong.”
Nearly ten years later, Joan remains a client at AMS. She not only comes to the clinic for herself, but for her family as well. AMS ensured her 4-year-old son, Dickson, and her 2-year-old daughter, Anita, were born HIV-negative. Joan is just one of over 1,000 expectant mothers AMS has cared for since 2013, all of whom delivered HIV-negative children after receiving prenatal care, education, and support.
“I wasn’t scared when I found out I was pregnant with Dickson,” said Joan, who became pregnant four years after her initial diagnosis. “The counsellors at AMS had already advised me on the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy, and I felt I had all the support I needed. I was positive but my baby would be HIV-negative.”
To ensure such an outcome, AMS provided Joan with education, healthcare and counselling throughout her entire pregnancy. AMS counsellors also enforced the value of proper adherence to her medication, breastfeeding, and child care after birth.
Once Joan delivered, she brought Dickson back to AMS for testing and check-ups. He was tested first at six weeks of age, again after 1 year, and once more after 18 months. Every time, Dickson tested negative, as did her second child, Anita, who was born two years later.
“I have joy in my heart because both my babies were born negative,” Joan said.
Joan’s viral load is now suppressed, and she continues to take her anti-retroviral medication regularly. To keep her husband – who is HIV-negative – safe, Joan uses condoms every time she has intercourse. In addition, AMS has provided her with injectable contraceptives twice, ensuring Joan has control over her family’s growth. Joan’s husband has become an active patient at AMS as well. Every three months, he visits the clinic to get tested and ensure his HIV-negative status has not changed.
It is only through partners like you that AMS can help mothers like Joan. Your support is critical to ensuring children are born HIV-negative – and you are playing an integral role in halting the spread of HIV, and keeping families safe. For that, we are incredibly grateful. Thank you so much!
Follow this link https://goo.gl/AAkMGh to donate towards our Elimination of Mother to Child Program.