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Newly reported cases of HIV in Antigua and Barbuda concerns many

25th May 2016

Information coming out of the National AIDS Secretariat has revealed an alarming number of newly reported HIV cases for the first quarter of this year.

AIDS Programme Manager Delcora Williams disclosed that twenty one (21) new cases have been confirmed for the period January - March with three of them being pregnant women.

Williams made the announcement during a three-day Mother to Child Transmission workshop which began at the Secretariat's office on Long Street today.

She said that the new development is a serious cause for concern and it's something that she was not expecting to hear after seeing a decline in cases during 2015.

Williams has promised to continue pounding the airwaves, social network sites and the highways and byways to get the urgent message of prevention out to the public.

The Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission workshop attracted 14 health care providers to include certified midwives.

The sessions according to Williams are designed to bring the midwives up to speed in regards to the program that is presently being used across the OECS to prevent pregnant women from transmitting HIV to their babies.

"The OECS will be doing an evaluation to see whether or not we have eliminated mother to child transmission of HIV and AIDS so we are taking the opportunity to bring our midwives in line and up to date with the programs that are being used to prevent the Mother to Child transmission from taking place, we want to make sure we are all on the same page and on the ball", Williams stated.

Some of the subject areas that will be covered during the workshop are Pediatric care for an infant who is born to an HIV positive mother, which will be presented by Clinical Care Coordinator, Dr. Maria Pereira while Dr. Dane Abbott will touch on the subject of Labor, Delivery and Post Partum of the HIV positive Mother.

Other subject areas to be discussed include "The Midwife and her role in labor and delivery of the HIV positive woman which will be facilitated by Sister Ann-Marie Isaac while the area of "The Community midwife and her role in postnatal follow-up care of HIV positive mother and exposed infant" will be presented by Mrs. Sonia Joseph, the Deputy AIDS Program Manager.

The prevention of Mother to Child Transmission Program started in 1999, and so far eighty one (81) HIV mothers have been treated with only seven (7) of the babies becoming HIV positive.

For More Information Contact:
Debbie Francis
Communication Officer
Tel: (268) 464-8026