A goal for 2015: End to babies with AIDS

Michael Kofi Acquah is the epitome of health. The vivacious 4-year-old who lives outside Ghana’s capital, Accra, loves soccer and dancing.

Not so long ago, Michael could have been at death’s door. His mother, Doris Quaynor, has HIV. Quaynor was diagnosed in 1998, but after five years, she was finally able to receive some antiretroviral (ARV) treatment. The medication not only gave Quaynor a normal life — it even gave her a healthy baby.

“I worked closely with a physician to monitor my antibody count to make sure it was high enough to have a baby,” explains Quaynor, who works as a seamstress. “We continued to monitor my health and ARV medication to keep the level of HIV low and reduce the chance of transmission. After birth, Michael was also given doses of HIV medicine.”

Michael remains a relative rarity though. Every year, some 430,000 babies are born with HIV — 90 percent of them in sub-Saharan Africa.

But soon the world may be welcoming an HIV-free generation. The charity (RED), working with The Global Fund, has made AIDS babies the focus of “Born HIV Free,” a new campaign to create an AIDS-free generation by 2015. Ninety-nine percent of HIV-positive women on ARV drugs who give their babies infant formula instead of breastmilk avoid infecting their babies.

“There has been remarkable progress in the past year alone,” says Anurita Bains, senior advisor to The Global Fund’s executive director. “South Africa, Lesotho and Malawi are on the path to end mother-to-child transmission. Political leaders are tackling the issue not because they adore babies but because eliminating HIV among them is achievable.”

Doris Quaynor, whose treatment was funded by (RED), remains healthy. And Michael is already planning for the future: He wants to become a soldier. To that, Quaynor says: “I’d prefer him to become a pilot.”

Together, though divided by HIV

The Ogori family is one with mixed fortunes: One half is HIV-negative, the other HIV-positive.
“I found out that I had HIV two years ago, when I was pregnant with my second son,” explains Beatrice Abakah-Ogori, a hairdresser in Accra, Ghana. “I couldn’t believe it. Shortly after I found out, my husband Charles also went for an HIV test and found out he was negative. It was very difficult for him but he decided that he couldn’t abandon me.”

Beatrice immediately began ARV treatment. Her son, Herbert, was born HIV-free. “He has been tested several times and is definitely HIV-negative,” she says. “But the doctors encouraged us to test our older son, Bright, as well. “He’s HIV-positive. I didn’t know my HIV status when I was pregnant with him so I didn’t even know I could transmit the disease.”

Bright will become an engineer, his mother hopes, a career his father dreamed of. As for Herbert? Beatrice says: “I’d love for him to become a doctor so that he can help others in the same way the doctors helped him be HIV-negative.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.