The Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) centre at the King George’s Medical University (KGMU) has been helping AIDS patients find a suitable match.
The diagnosis of AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) often brings the social life of an individual to a screeching halt due to the stigma associated with it. Single infected patients often find it difficult to find life partners.
According to Dr Bhaskar Pandey, counsellor at KGMU’s ART centre, “At the ART centre, we tell HIV-positive unmarried men and women about other patients, who can be their prospective counterparts. If they show interest, we help in counselling and matchmaking. So far, we have solemnised 67 such marriages in the past seven years.”
Dr Pandey explained, “We also explain to the man and woman everything they need to keep in mind while conceiving and during pregnancy. Medication and precaution can help an HIV-positive woman deliver a healthy baby in the majority of the cases. Over 30 couples who met each other at the ART centre, have now become parents.”
According to doctors, HIV can pass from an infected woman to her child during pregnancy, at the time of birth, and while breastfeeding as well. However, medical treatment of both the mother and her infant can minimise the chances of contraction.
Citing a recent case, the doctor said that a 28-year-old Sitapur resident and his 26-year-old wife from Lucknow have become proud parents to a healthy baby with KGMU’s help.
The first meeting between the man and the woman was arranged by ART officials about two years ago. Subsequently, they got married and became parents.