January 13, 2012
Amos and his son, Yohana. (Photo: EGPAF)
My name is Amos. I am 49 years old and I live in the Tabora region of Tanzania. My wife Janeth is 38 years old. Together, we are blessed with five children: Bahati (21), Alex (19), Martin (15), Helena (13), and Yohana (4).
In 2006, when Janeth was pregnant with Yohana, she visited an antenatal care clinic at Kitete Hospital in Tabora where she was tested for HIV.
She was very upset. When she came back home so sad, I realized something was wrong.
After many long hours trying to convince her to tell me why she was unhappy, Janeth revealed that she was HIV-positive.
I was worried, especially because at the time I was suffering from severe fevers and typhoid. I decided to go to the hospital with Janeth the next day to be tested.
After receiving pre-test counseling, the hospital’s nurses tested me for HIV. Like Janeth, the results were positive.
The nurses referred Janeth and I to an Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation-supported care and treatment center located at the same hospital. At the center, doctors and nurses specializing in HIV/AIDS counseled us about our HIV-positive status.
They also introduced us to services that could prevent the transmission of the virus to our unborn child. We were assured that by following the guidelines for these prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services, Janeth would deliver an HIV-free baby. This was exciting news!
The doctor at the care and treatment center then recommended we do several medical examinations to gauge our health, including tuberculosis screenings and tests to determine our CD4 counts. Although Janeth had a much higher CD4 count than me, we both began medications to keep us healthy.
A few days after receiving treatment, my health began to stabilize. Feeling healthier, I took care of my Janeth, ensured she made all her antenatal clinic appointments, and helped her continue her treatment.
In early 2007, she delivered a healthy boy, Yohana.
As part of the PMTCT services, our doctor gave Yohana medicine to further prevent transmission of HIV. Additionally, Janeth was advised to breastfeed Yohana exclusively for three months.
Yohana was first tested for HIV when he was three months old. Two other tests followed at six months and 18 months. Each time, Yohana’s results were negative.
Our family is thankful for the PMTCT services provided by the Foundation. Because we were able to access these services, Yohana is HIV-negative and healthy -- something that means so much for two HIV-positive parents.