Printer Friendly

Early treatment can prevent maternal-foetal HIV transmission.

Byline: Dina El Shammaa, Staff Reporter

Abu Dhabi: Doctors can now reduce the risk of HIV transmission between pregnant women and their foetus, a US-based gynaecologist has revealed.

Dr Harold E. Fox, Director of the Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, said there is now a procedure that involves a battery of tests and administration of drugs that can drastically reduce the risk of HIV transmission from 25 per cent to less than one per cent.

"The mother is given multiple drugs during the first three months of pregnancy, which helps control HIV from not turning into Aids and reduces the chances of a child catching it from one in four cases to one in a 100 cases," said Fox, who recently held a lecture at Corniche Hospital.

In an interview, Fox said it is important for medical professionals to apprise their patients of their true medical status.

"It's vital to provide a full picture and prepare patients during a normal or abnormal pregnancy. Transmission of HIV from a pregnant woman to her infant for instance, will only improve the outcome of the condition, as well as among many other medical conditions that can be detected through screening," said Fox.

Through proper pre-natal care and diagnosis, complicated medical conditions during pregnancy like hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular conditions that can affect the foetus, can be prevented.

"During early prenatal care women can be given nutritional supplements and vitamins. This helps avoid risks during pregnancy and makes diagnoses easier later on," Fox said, adding that if the mother's sugar metabolism is not controlled the baby can end up being either too big or too small in size upon delivery.

Couples can now detect the foetus's risk rate with regards to chromosomal disorders such as Down's Syndrome, which is said to affect approximately one in 800 to one in 1,000 births.

The process is done through Aneuploidy Screening, which tests whether there are any fetal chromosomal abnormalities. "The procedure can pick up 85 per cent of any abnormal foetus through ultra-sound and various tests. A statistical predication can help educate a couple about their baby's condition.

"Diagnosing chromosomal conditions is done during the first three months of pregnancy. Research indicates that without knowledge of their child's condition, a strained relationship between parents and a child is the end result," said Fox, adding that patients who know about their child's abnormality ahead of time are much more prepared and able to handle their child's condition better.

Empowering the patient is vital said a renown visiting doctor in an exclusive interview with Gulf News.

Dr. Harold E. Fox, M.D, M.Sc., Gynaecologist and Obstetrician-in-Chief and Director of the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at the Johns Hopkins Hospital In Baltimore, will regularly visit Corniche Hospital to update and assure a high standard services is offered to the UAE population.

Al Nisr Publishing LLC 2009. All rights reserved.

Provided by an company

COPYRIGHT 2009 Al Bawaba (Middle East) Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jul 15, 2009
Previous Article:UAE Islamic finance mission visits Australia.
Next Article:Gulf states need dollar hedge.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |