A midwife at the Koforidua Polyclinic, Ms Lydia Agyepong has advised pregnant women to encourage their partners use condoms during sex in order to protect themselves and their unborn babies against sexually transmitted diseases.
She explained that, there had been instances where at 14 weeks pregnancy, when some women were tested, they were HIV negative but at 34 weeks, when they were re-tested, they were found to be HIV positive which is a threat to their new babies.
This came to light during open forum at the celebration of the World AIDS Day at the Reproductive and Child Health Clinic of the Koforidua Polyclinic which was organized by the Eastern Regional AIDS Committee.
Ms Agyepong said HIV positive mothers could breast feed their babies and the babies would not be infected, provided they the mothers take their drugs regularly and administer the drugs prescribed for them by their medical officers to their babies.
Persons Living with HIV(PLHIV) in the New Juaben Municipality complained about regular shortage of regents for testing CD-4 counts to determine if a person who tested HIV positive should be put on Anti-Retroviral Therapy(ART) and the ART drugs within the last two years.
Reacting to the concern, the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Ms Mavis Ama Frimpong informed the gathering that, the government had given funding to some local pharmaceutical companies including TOBINCO and Dan Adams to produce the regents and the ART drugs locally to help reduce the cost of importation and guarantee their availability.
She said for the country to achieve HIV free generation, there was the need for special attention to be given to women, especially pregnant women to help eliminate Mother –to-Child Transmission of HIV.
Ms Frimpong advised women to know their HIV status and often practice safe sex and urged those who test positive to HIV to seek early treatment to help them stay long and protect their children from HIV infections.
Dr Kwaku Seneya, New Juaben Municipal Director of Health Services observed that, much had been achieved in response to HIV in the New Juaben Municipality but there was still more to be done to achieve the national target.
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