Community Support to End Vertical Transmission
Now, if you've read some posts before, you are aware of why I felt the need to attend this panel.
Community Support also caught my attention, I figured it would be more down to earth than a regular research panel.
Unfortunately, I didn't stick around long for a few reasons.
1. As soon as the first panel started I knew this was (again) not the type of information I was looking for or thought I would get when I sat in the room.
2. There would be no presentations on information for the US
3. It was at 6:30 PM and I had been up for a bit (And the bus people came)
4. I really had to go to the bathroom
5. Mom was taking my wonderful co-facilitator and I out to dinner
I will summarize and try to provide you with as much information that I did obtain.
Beatrice Chola (Zambia): Prevention of Vertical Transmission of HIV in Zambia
In the age group of 15-49, 14.3% have HIV.
16.1% of HIV infections are women.
Vertical Transmission is a major mode of transmission in Zambia.
Solutions that have been enacted, and still need to be enforced include: (Biso Program)
- Inclusion of MEN
- Helping women go to clinics (stay on treatment for self and child)
- Enforcing Pre-Natal Care (monitoring the CD4 count of the mother, treating mother, and monitoring the pregnancy)
- Enforcing Post-Natal Care (Alternative Infant Feeding options, providing mentors with new mothers)
- The creation of a holistic approach (including nutrition, cooking, and hygiene)
- Providing income generating activities (business skills & training)
- Providing support for children
- Enabling psychological support
Overall, I'm sure this information was more influential to someone else in the room, and it was interesting to hear about a community program, but I guess I need something a little more personal and that I can relate more to.
I think about Vertical Transmission a lot (yes, even though I am not giving birth any time soon). I more think about it because from what I do know, in order to reduce risk of mother-to-child transmission, I would have to have a C-Section, and not breastfeed. It kind of bums me out since everyone is always talking about the "natural way for birth" and how it's better for the baby. If I become a mother I definitely want to do what's best for my baby right from the beginning, but unfortunately that includes having the child cut out of me.
The breastfeeding... this is EVERYWHERE now-a-days. "Breast is Best". But again, I won't be able to provide those nutrients to my baby without risk...
Maybe when the time comes some new advances will happen and I don't have to worry about these precautions. But for now... if I want to keep vertical transmission at a low, then I have to keep these facts in mind.