Arizona: HIV Test Helps Mothers Protect Newborns
March 6, 2008
On Monday, Phoenix is marking National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day with a series of educational events and quick, confidential HIV screening.
But with a prenatal HIV diagnosis, an expectant mother can prevent transmitting HIV to her baby by taking medicine before and during birth, and she can consult her doctor about a less risky delivery, said Piatt. The infant would also receive treatment and not be breast-fed by the mother.
"If you had unprotected sex, you could be at risk," said Piatt. "And if you're pregnant, you had unprotected sex. Even if you've never had another partner, your partner may have."
Prenatal HIV screening is recommended by CDC, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other health organizations, Piatt said. But sometimes doctors fear embarrassing, frightening or appearing to judge patients.
In partnership with the Arizona and Maricopa County health departments, the Fresh Start Women's Foundation is hosting the awareness day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 1130 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix. Free HIV screening is available; the event is open to all women 18 and older. For more information, visit www.wehelpwomen.com or telephone 602-252-8494.
Arizona Republic (Phoenix)
03.05.2008; Connie Midley