DOCTORS have hailed the success of an HIV screening programme for expectant mothers which has seen 144 babies born without the disease.
• HIV screening programme that has helped 144 babies to be born free of disease is hailed
• Women living in Greater Glasgow and Clyde area are offered screening at Gartnavel General Hospital, with 98 per cent uptake
Drug treatment given in early pregnancy greatly reduces the chance of the baby contracting HIV from its mother.
All pregnant women living in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area offered screening, with an uptake of 98 per cent.
Mothers found to be HIV positive undergo further tests to establish the appropriate treatment required and receive regular monitoring and specialist support during the pregnancy.
Val Patton, head HIV clinician at Glasgow’s Brownlee Centre for Communicable Disease at Gartnavel General Hospital, said: “Over the last seven year we’ve managed to deliver 144 babies whose mothers have been diagnosed HIV positive but transfer to the babies has been avoided.
“This has been achieved through a combination of drugs which are tailored to each individual mum, continual monitoring and positive support from the team.”
Emilia Crighton, public health medicine consultant at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said not everyone realises how important screening can be.
“The HIV antenatal screening programme is one of many that can save and improve the quality of lives, and 144 healthy babies proves that screening programmes can work,” she said.