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Distt hospital helps HIV+ mother deliver healthy baby

It is seldom that a government hospital comes to fore for a positive reason. The district hospital of Noida has claimed that planning safe pregnancy and supportive health care under their supervision have prevented HIV transmission from mothers to their newborns. “Regular check-up and proper medical treatment can significantly reduce the risk of transmitting disease to babies,” said Dr Anshu Gupta, gynecologist at the hospital. 

The hospital claims that in 2013 as many as 15 HIV positive mothers delivered babies in the hospital and just one child was tested HIV positive. 

This year, a total of eight HIV positive women have given birth to babies and their report is awaited. “Proper treatment during pregnancy and labour can reduce chances of transmission of infection to babies. The patients are in regular touch with us. We provide the medicines and take 
special care during childbirth.” 

Gupta said.  An HIV positive mother can transmit the disease to her baby during pregnancy, child birth or through breastfeeding. The hospital through its initiative has also detected high prevalence of HIV in the hinterland. The hospital has tested 137 women positive of HIV from January to December this year. Another gynecologist, Sandeep Chadha, said that the patients are given anti-retro viral therapy as soon as the disease is detected. 

“The therapy decreases the viral load - the amount of HIV in patient’s blood - which minimizes the chances of transmission of virus from mother to babies. In case of doubt on transmission of disease during childbirth, caesarian section is advised to keep baby safe,” Chadha said. Once found positive, pregnant women are advised to take medicines on a regular basis till the delivery. Doctors said that after the delivery even if the tests show that babies are healthy, they are given anti-retro viral drugs as a long term medical care.
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