Twenty five-year-old Saraswati Kamble (name changed) had been seeking HIV treatment at BMC-run Sion Hospital for the past seven years. Her daughter Manjushri (6) was tested HIV-negative because Kamble was given antiretroviral therapy (ART) for prevention of mother-to-child transmission programme before she delivered the baby.
On the occasion of World AIDS Day on December 1, Kamble was elated to meet Bollywood actress and UN Global Goodwill Ambassador Aishwarya Rai at the pediatric centre of excellence in Sion Hospital. “Rai was concerned about my younger baby Rani, who is barely two months now. Rani has also been undergoing ART treatment, and her HIV status will be confirmed after 18 months. Rai emphasised that Rani should undergo regular therapy so that she not acquire the disease,” said Kamble.
Rai interacted with HIV infected children aged between six months to seventeen years who are seeking treatment at the hospital. “The women I spoke with today will have babies who are safe from HIV because they have access to the medication required. I would like to emphasise the importance of all pregnant women going for HIV testing as it is important to have access to treatment if required,” said Rai.