Perinatal HIV-prevention combined with drug rehabilitation shows good results in Kenya
Opioid substitution therapy, usually called as MAT showed good results in treatment of people with drug addiction. Drug addicted women were using MAT and ARV therapy combined, if they were HIV-positive to prevent HIV-positive status by their future children. That combined therapy showed good results - HIV transmitted below 5% without significant harm to the mother’s or child’s health as it was considered before.
Drug addiction appears as a serious problem in Kenya. In Sub-Saharan region about 45% women addicted to drugs are HIV-positive. Naturally, drug addicted women don’t care about their health, safe sex and regular medications because of their opioid-dependence, this fact only makes the situation worse.
Two years before the big action of drug addicted people took place in Kenya - everyone who was addicted took place in the action; sex didn’t matter. During the action all the participants were tested on HIV, hepatitis B and C, and syphilis, and women received pregnancy tests. About 43 women with the average age of 29 years, took part in the analysis - 29% of women for HIV-positive. Usage of heroin damages regular menstrual periods by women, but methadone is known as a drug which may return woman’s fertility to the normal lever. This fact is well known by drug addicted women, but it didn’t make them care about contraception more.
After the research took place, doctors noted the improvement of mothers and their babies condition after MAT and prenatal HIV-preventative care combined. The majority of women visited doctor regularly in all course of their pregnancy to control mother’s and child’s condition after taking medication for HIV-preventative care and drug rehabilitation. Six children were born, all of them full-term and acceptable birth weight. More that 80% of newborn babies were breast fed without any danger. So doctors see how the abovementioned medications combination improved the situation and found another reason to investigate HIV-prevention care by drug addicted people.