COMBAT THE PREVALENCE OF HIV IN PREGNANT MOTHERS in RURAL COMMUNITIES OF sub-SAHARAN AFRICA
Recent research has proven that the most important risk factors for Mother-to-Child-Transmission is the amount of HIV virus in the mother’s blood, body fluids or breast milk known as viral load. Although the Plasma Viral Load is usually measured, the viral load in other “compartments” (genital breast milk) is also relevant. The risk of transmission to the infant is greater when the viral load is high-which is often the case with recent HIV Infection or advanced AIDS.
The prevalence of HIV measured during antenatal care (ANC) is generally higher than the prevalence in the general Population. Among pregnant women, however, HIV prevalence is diverse between countries and even within continents. As is true of in most of the less developed nations of the world (except Latin America, Central Asia and Eastern Europe), women in sub-Saharan Africa are infected more often and earlier in their lives than men. Young women between 15 to 24 years of age are between two and six times as likely to be HIV-Positive as men of a similar age. Women and youths are especially vulnerable. Young women in sub-Saharan are less likely than young men to use condoms during sex that poses special risks. Condom use is also much less common among young women in poorer households and among those living in rural areas. Condom use to prevent HIV is still dangerously low in the grass roots and impoverished communities, especially among women.
The impact of the HIV epidemic has been acutely felt by children in terms of both health and social outcomes. Globally, in 2009, about 16.6milion children were estimated to have lost one or both parents to AIDs, up from 14.6 million in 2005; 14.8 million of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa and mostly in rural communities. Education is vital to children’s futures leaves many roaming the streets as street children in search of survival and rapid flow of movements in rural-urban migration.
I therefore stand on the point that combating HIV and AIDS in Pregnant women in Impoverished communities of sub-Saharan Africa will be to re-in force the following Millennium Development Goals which are; -Goal 3: promote gender equality and empower women by addressing gender in health programming where gender and reproductive and sexual health are inherently connected and must be examined together to bring about more gender equitable societies and better health outcomes; as well as introduce approaches for gender integration and sexual health projects in these communities. Also, set specific goals to start working towards gender transformative reproductive and sexual health programming in rural and impoverished communities. Again, identify resources for additional information and technical assistance and how health workers should seek to address unmet needs in their communities. And lastly, the need to expand across the continuum of care-during antenatal which helps reduce the risk of Mother-to-Child-Transmission of HIV, the intra-partum care interventions that helps prevent the transmission of HIV from mothers to newborns, and the post-partum interventions which help prevents the transmission of HIV from mothers to infants and will equally be advancing policies and advocacy for Preventing mother-to-child-Transmission (PMTCT) in these sub-Saharan rural and impoverished communities.
-Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality
-Goal 5: Reduce maternal mortality
-Goal: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other major diseases