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Posts Tagged ‘discordant couples’

Ibrahim Umoru

At the early years of the HIV and AIDS epidemic when treatment was a mirage, a woman testing positive to HIV gives up hope of bearing a child for the fear of having HIV+ children.

With the advent of robust treatment, care and support; our women folks taking advantage of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission(PMTCT) services smile with relief for the ability to have babies who are HIV+. What a wonderful world!

However, as a father, a husband and somebody living positively and constructively with HIV, I sure do have a role, in fact a bold and big one at that, in my wife’s effort at accessing PMTCT. I play strong roles in supporting my wife on treatment to attain a robust CD4 count and undetectable level of HIV in her blood. It is my responsibility to make her have a good nutrition and maintain a good health as well as encouraging safer sex to the time of peak ovulation. This is to reduce re-infection.

One of the ways to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV involves a long course of antiretroviral drugs and

Make sure she sees a midwife:Living up to his responsibility beyond just getting her pregnant:source:africanfathers.org

avoidance of breastfeeding, which reduces the risk to below 2%. In developed countries ,the number of infant infections has plummeted since this option became available in the mid-1990s.

Since 1999, it has been known that much simpler, inexpensive courses of drugs can also cut mother-to-child transmission rates by at least a half. The most basic of these comprises just two doses of a drug called nevirapine – one given to the mother during labour and the other given to her baby soon after birth. These short-course treatments, combined with safer infant feeding, have the potential to save many tens of thousands of children from HIV infection each year.

However, for the whole robust course of a full ARV regime, opting for elective CS, alternative infant feeding; men’s roles are obviously essential and we MUST be there for our female partners.

It is important to note that as husbands we have a role to play to make the period of pregnancy less stressful for wives and always be there for them and for the union too. In encouraging my wife to consent to elective caesarian section, I continued with such support and was in the theatre by her side when she had her baby.

This is my opinion about men being part of the solution rather than the problem. We played a role in the pregnancy and since we cannot carry it (the pregnancy) we should be responsible enough to support and  encourage the woman till she enters the labour room.

If we all agree with this summation, then we can collectively agree that the term PMTCT which is Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission of HIV  should  be broadened to  read PREVENTION OF PARENT TO CHILD TRANSMISSION OF HIV (PPTCT). We all should work for that success as I and  my darling wife continues to celebrate the birth of our latest baby born HIV free baby.

Have a pleasant day!

Ibrahim Umoru

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Ibrahim Umoru has been living with HIV for over a decade. He is the coordinator, Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN)Lagos Chapter, a peer health educator and currently engaged in some form of advocacy that seeks to address the issue of HIV among sero-discordance couples.

Ibrahim Umoru

Not a few people will admit that one of the things HIV does most times to any family is that it rips it apart by first breaking the marriage and setting couples against each other. This has especially where there have been cases of established or suspected infidelity. But Umoru feels this shouldn’t be.

“I think couples can still live happily ever after even with HIV”, he says. If a man who is HIV negative can decide to marry an HIV+-and vice versa,I don’t see why any marriage should break up because one of the couple tested positive to HIV.” Is he alone in this reasoning? Does anyone really share such audacious optimism?

Beginning from this week, Umoru will be coming your way with updates on HIV sero-discordance and how families affected by HIV can cope and still stay strong together. Most of his articles will based on his personal experience of living openly with HIV form more than 12 years .You can always visit this blog and click on ThisCORDANT Notes for regular updates.

Best regards.

Kingsley Obom-Egbulem

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