July 21, 2012 | By Bill Gates
Talking with Florence Daka, an HIV-Infected Mother of Four
The high rates of HIV transmission from mother to child can be prevented with effective HIV drug treatment.
On my trip to Zambia earlier this year, I visited the Coptic Mission Hospital in Lusaka and had a chance to meet with Florence Daka, a mother of four who is alive today because of the effectiveness of HIV drugs.
It was important to hear Florence’s story, because she helped me understand why the decision to get tested and take HIV drugs isn’t always so easy. In Florence’s case the drugs also prevented transmission of HIV to her newborn son – an example of what can be achieved if we keep our focus on HIV treatments, in addition to fundamental research. In Zambia, the spread of HIV from mother-to-child is one of the most frequent ways AIDS has spread—where more than 15% of the adult population is living with the disease but many do not know it.
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