A simple blood test can confirm the presence of HIV, yet many people have been living for years without symptoms, and have no idea they’ve been infected. Worldwide, about 30% of the people currently infected with HIV are unaware of it. For patients diagnosed with this disease, monitoring viral load and measuring HIV levels in the blood is essential to ensuring functional and effective treatment. While viral load tests are routine in rich countries, access to them is still lagging behind in developing countries.
The combination of medicines known as antiretrovirals (ARV) helps fight the virus and reduce the spread of infection, and allows patients to live longer and healthier lives without the immune system rapidly deteriorating. One of the greatest tragedies and challenges in the fight for control of the disease is the fact of children living with AIDS. The WHO estimated that in 2006, 2.5 million children under 15 were living with HIV/AIDS, with an additional 1,200 children being infected every day. Without treatment, half of these children die before their second birthday.
Preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT)
More than 90% of children living with HIV were infected by their mother during pregnancy, delivery, or breast-feeding. Preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) can reduce transmission probability to less than two percent. MAGNA integrates PMTCT into mother and child care, which includes testing and providing antiretroviral drugs (ARV) to HIV positive pregnant women, breastfeeding advice, and preventive ARV administration to newborns.
Mental health care is an integral part of MAGNA's HIV/AIDS treatment programs. All patients receiving ARV treatment at MAGNA clinics and hospitals have access to psychosocial support.