Fighting Pediatric AIDS in Uganda - Finding Comfort in Protecting Her Baby
The sixth blog in our “Fighting Pediatric AIDS in Uganda” series introduces us to Justine, a single HIV-positive mother who is pregnant with her second child. Justine is receiving PMTCT services at a Foundation-supported facility in Kagongo, southwestern Uganda. In her post, Justine discusses her fears about transmitting HIV to her unborn child, and how she hopes to help other women like her in the future.
October 13, 2011
Justine. (Photo: James Pursey)
I am a single mother with a 10-year-old child. I am also eight months pregnant, HIV-positive, and scared.
I discovered I was HIV positive in 2010. I had a painful rash on my neck and it wouldn’t go away. The doctor took one look and said, ‘you’d better get tested for HIV’. I was shocked.
Now I am pregnant again. It was an unplanned pregnancy and I am scared about transmitting HIV to the baby.
I promised myself I would not get pregnant again, and I regret it.
Since I found out I was pregnant, the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV health workers at the hospital have been very helpful. They introduced me to a support group and have educated me on what to expect during and following my pregnancy.
Justine and her daughter. (Photo: James Pursey)
The health workers make sure I take my medicine to protect my unborn baby and me, and they have given me counseling about breastfeeding and other important responsibilities I’ll have to take care of my baby.
Today, because of their support, I am less scared about HIV.
I want to tell other women to get tested regularly. The sooner you get tested, the sooner you can get the support and treatment you need.
Click here to read the previous post from the "Fighting AIDS in Uganda" blog series.
Sanyu Nkiinzi is a Communications and Outreach Officer for the Foundation, based in Uganda.