100 babies on ARV

National, Normal


MORE than 100 babies have been put on the AntiRetroviral (ARV) treatment at the Goroka
General Hospital, Eastern Highlands province, after tests confirmed them as HIV positive.
Goroka Base Hospital chief executive officer Dr Joseph Apa said statistics showed that the hospital had enrolled and treated up to 100 babies since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS treatment programme for babies and children in 2005.
 “The number of cases we have are those that have accumulated over the years,” he said.
Dr Apa said  most common form of transmission was from mother to child, and its either through breast feeding or during pregnancy.
He said ARV for children were a bit difficult but they have took it on and formulated the treatment for children and especially babies with HIV.
“We have established a system for treating children on ARV.
We have engaged Paediatricians who are knowledgeable in the area and they determine treatment for each child depending on stages of the virus,” Dr Apa said.
He said the specialists had to conduct several tests and studies on viral loads in their bodies before putting them on medication.
“Specialists have to do several tests before the treatment is given to the babies,” Dr Apa said.