An HIV-positive mother in Hong Kong has delivered a healthy child with the help of antiretroviral treatment during her pregnancy, Ming Pao Daily reported Friday.
The woman, an HIV sufferer for more than 10 years, had not considered having babies for fear of transmitting the virus to her offspring, according to the newspaper. But about two years ago, her doctor told her she could get pregnant as long as she undertook the necessary treatment.
She got pregnant several months later and was given antiretroviral medication. She also chose to undergo a caesarean section to minimize the risk of infection during birth.
She was overjoyed when she gave birth to a healthy baby boy. “It’s amazing I could have my own baby, even though I have the disease,” she said.
Since the first AIDs patient in Hong Kong was recorded in 1984, the number of HIV cases in the city has risen to 6,342, of which 1,299 are female.
A Hospital Authority official was quoted as saying that risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission could be reduced significantly by antiviral therapy, with the chance of infection as low as 1-2 percent.
According to data released by the Health Department, only three babies out of the 67 children of HIV sufferers who received the therapy were confirmed to have been infected by the virus over the past 13 years, the report said.
The woman said she wanted to see her son staying healthy as he grows up. When the right time comes, she said, she will sit down with him and explain to him about her condition.
“Whether he accepts it or not, he has the right to know,” the woman was quoted as saying.
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