- Última actualización en 14 Agosto 2015
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VIHDA was founded in June 2006 in Guayaquil, Ecuador to work primarily in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding. Our work began in the largest Maternity Hospital in Ecuador, located in Guayaquil, the country's largest city (pop. 2'500.000), where about 35,000 births per year take place (about 20% of all births in the country).
Since January 2007 to date (Dec 2014) we have performed over 297,000 voluntary HIV tests to pregnant women who get their prenatal care and/or give birth at the Maternity Hospital and have detected 1,425 positive cases which we have helped treat together with the Maternity Hospital and the Ministry of Health's (MOH) HIV program. All detected patients receive ARV treatment for the future mother prior to birth, treatment during birth via c-section delivery, and ARV treatment for the babies after birth. After birth, the mothers also get admitted to the MOH HIV program where they receive free ARV medications under a doctor's supervision.
So far all the pregnant women who underwent treatment in the program, and have given birth, have had HIV-free babies. Babies need to remain under treatment and observation for 18 months until they are completely diagnosed as HIV-free, and so far our success rate has been 100% at 18 months.
We still have some challenges, like getting more women to get prenatal care and not just showing up to give birth at a hospital or health center, which happens in about 25% of all pregnancies. The same goes for making sure the women we detect in our program, as well as their families, have access and adherence to treatment for their own HIV infections after birth.
To meet the first challenge we are increasing the importance of outreach and HIV awareness with other organizations that work with women in low income communities and help raise the awareness of the importance of prenatal care and specifically of HIV tests during pregnancy. The second challenge led us to start our own day clinic, inaugurated in July 2009, to work with people who live with HIV or AIDS and give them access to expert health professionals, psychologists and counselors, as well as a welcoming and friendly environment to meet with their health professionals.
To strengthen its fight to curb mother-to-child transmission of HIV, Fundación VIHDA signed a 3-party agreement with the Maternity Hospital Sotomayor, which is privately run, and with the Ministry of Health so that together we could provide access to HIV tests, ARV medication, trained health professionals and provide HIV testing services with pre and post test counseling to more than 32,000 pregnant women per year.
We believe this is a good example of private-public partnerships to combat HIV transmission.
Fundación VIHDA receives all of its donations from private donors and from conducting our own fundraising activities, but have also been able to partner up with state and city governments locally to achieve our goals of stopping mother-to-child transmission and provide better care for people living with HIV or AIDS.