Most of the children who are HIV+ in Amecet, got the HIV infection from their mother. But there is a big change now. All the women who go for pre-natal care are being screened for HIV. When they are HIV+ they get instructions to deliver their baby in a Health Centre, so the baby will receive the ARV's directly after being born.. Then the baby will get every day the medicine until he/she is 6 weeks old. Then the mother has to bring the baby for a DNA blood test for HIV. Is this test negative, the baby is fine, if this test comes out positive, than the baby is really HIV+ and has to go on the full regime of ARV medicines.
Today we had to go to the hospital for the results of this test for two of our babies. I feel always a little tense, this test will say a lot of the rest of the life of this child. There are medicines and they can get old if they take their ARV's every day, but still, I see it in the lives of my own girls, being HIV+ has a big impact on their life!
So we went and on this picture we are waiting for our turn. In a very small room, at the left is Riemke with baby Agnes and in the middle Rachelle with baby Rebecca, both had to come for their results. Rebecca's mother is HIV+ and very sick at the moment, baby Agnes is found between the pig food, we don't know anything about her parents, so they were both brought for the test, some time ago! And we got the good the news: THEY ARE NEGATIVE!!!!! So nice!!! At the right is Anja with baby Emmanuel, he is just over 6 weeks old and because his mother was HIV+ and died after giving birth, we wanted to let him test as well. So they took some blood and in 2 weeks we can hear about his results. Those hospital visits take a lot of time, we get even helped faster than most of the patients, because they know that we have always a lot of work to do. But it does take time and we get always a lot of attention. Especially when we give them the bottle, you don't see people do that, and that is good. Sometimes a nursing student tells us not to give bottle feeding, because breast feeding is better, I tel them than, that I am sorry, but I don't have breast feeding!!!
After some hours we came home to tell the good news to all the staff...