Advertisement
The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
  
  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

International News

Guardian Examines Rise of Pregnancies Among HIV-Positive Women in Malawi

June 10, 2008

London's Guardian on Saturday profiled Grace Mathanga, an HIV-positive pregnant woman living in Malawi whom the newspaper first profiled five years ago. According to the Guardian, an increasing number of HIV-positive women in Malawi are "knowingly getting pregnant" because of improved access to antiretroviral drugs to prevent mother-to-child transmission. However, the rising number of HIV-positive pregnant women in the country has created concerns about MTCT, as well as the risk of death for women, the Guardian reports.

Despite improved access to antiretrovirals in the country, testing for MTCT has been "much slower" throughout sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Guardian. Last year, 284,000 pregnant women who visited prenatal clinics were tested for HIV in Malawi, and of the 26,000 found to be HIV-positive, 19,000 were given antiretrovirals to take at the onset of labor. In addition, health center records indicated that only half of the infants, or 13,000, were born in maternity units that provided the drug nevirapine to prevent them from contracting HIV. Kelita Kamoto, the Ministry of Health's head of HIV/AIDS, said many women do not return to clinics after giving birth. "They are lost to follow-up," Kamoto said. Consequently, many infants are born HIV-positive, the Guardian reports.

Erik Schouten, technical adviser in the government's HIV/AIDS department, said the increasing number of HIV-positive women having children has generated disagreement between some health workers who say "there is a risk" and others who "say you should have a right to have children." Schouten added, "What we see at a professional level is people going back to normal life and having sex and thinking about families and the future."

Advertisement
According to the Guardian, Malawi has the third-highest maternal mortality rate worldwide. Tariq Meguida, consultant obstetrician at a government-run hospital in Bwaila, said, "In the end, there is little doubt that women die in Africa because they are poor -- really, really poor -- and voiceless. They say absolutely nothing. They are women and that is why they die like that. It is a huge, huge scandal. The world knows it and could do more" (Boseley, Guardian, 6/7).

Back to other news for June 2008


Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2008 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.



  
  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
 
See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
Malawi
Advertisement:
Find out how a Walgreens specially trained pharmacist can help you

Tools
 

Advertisement