Hiv 800X452 1 Make Hiv Testing, Counselling Available For Pregnant Women, Physician Tells Govt

Make HIV testing, counselling available for pregnant women, physician tells govt

Reproductive health expert with the Federal Medical Centre, Ido-Ekiti in Ido-Osi Local Government Area of Ekiti, Dr. Steve Anjorin, has advised pregnant women to imbibe adequate HIV/AIDS testing and counseling.

Anjorin gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Ido-Ekiti.

He said that pregnant women taking such medical advice, especially during antenatal care, would be protected against mother-to-child transmission of the disease during pregnancy.

According to him, observing COVID-19 protocols, especially by pregnant women, while attending antenatal care should not be at the expense of undergoing HIV testing and counseling.

Anjorin said that apart from preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission, it would also afford pregnant women the opportunity to know their health status and how they could stay healthy.

He said that the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV by pregnant women, especially during antenatal care, was a veritable platform to reduce the prevalence of the disease in the country.

“It will amount to double jeopardy for an unborn child to test positive to HIV due to the negligence of a positive mother, hence the need for regular testing and counseling.

“The entry point for prevention of mother-to-child services is basically through HIV testing and counseling of women attending antenatal care.

“In any healthcare setting, HIV testing and counseling should be offered to all pregnant women seeking them at various clinics and hospitals.

“Health service providers are also enjoined to mobilise pregnant women and other women of reproductive age to go for testing and counseling,’’ he said.

Anjorin noted that testing and counseling are imperative, especially when care providers, mothers’ services and other interventions are unavailable.

He listed the benefits of testing and counseling in the antenatal setting as reinforcement of safer sex practices, preventing mother-to-child transmission and empowering HIV-negative pregnant woman to remain negative.

The expert said aside the COVID-19 pandemic, HIV/AIDS is still on the increase in the country, with an adult prevalence of around 4.4 percent and estimated 3.9 million citizens living with the virus.

“The HIV/AIDS menace remains prevalent in spite of concerted efforts at halting and reversing the spread by multiple stakeholders.

“Nigeria still counts among the top countries of the world in terms of those carrying the HIV/AIDS burden,’’ he said.


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