- of babies born to hiv + mothers without any preventative measures taken, 30-40% will contract HIV.
- just a single dose of nevirapine given to a mother in labor and 1 dose to the baby within 72 hrs of delivery would reduce their risk to 8%*
- the above therapy with added AZT to mother from 28 wks onward and the infant for just 1 wk after birth, reduces their risk to just 2%*
- a triple drug therapy starting in the 2nd trimester of a pregnant woman reduces the baby's risk to a mere 1%*
- these therapies are costly for the government to provide and would also require the mother knowing (having been tested) and admitting she is HIV +
- often HIV + mothers have to decide between their kid starving to death (secondary to extreme poverty) or breastfeeding (which doubles the risk of transmission)
- 30-50% of ALL infant HIV infections are directly caused by breastfeeding (the rest are transmitted during pregnancy or labor/delivery)
- formula feeding is very very expensive for someone living of $1-2/day and requires consistent access to safe drinking water, sterilization techniques for the bottles, and warming water over a fire every few hours to make individual feeds as there is very little access to refrigeration if even electricity.
- not breast feeding an infant would mean telling family and friends you are HIV + which still comes with a very high cost here
- without diagnosis and treatment of an infant with HIV....he or she will only live to celebrate their 2 or 3 birthday.
*in non-breastfed infants
The HIV rate is 15% in Mozambique for the age-bearing population. I'm currently caring for 8 HIV + tots out of my 41 little ones in the Bercario/BH/Toddler House. 6 of these are 2 years and under.
Posted by erin at 20:22