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Posted by: Every Mother Counts   |   4/19/2011   |  

Ruth Sam saves her life AND her childs life too



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Name: Ruth SamCountry: GhanaAge: 33 years oldWork: Salesperson Family: 1 child – Bernadetta Tamah, 6 years-old (HIV Negative due to PMTCT intervention)Treatment: On antiretroviral therapy
Overview of Ruth's story:
Ruth was diagnosed with HIV in 2004 when she was pregnant. Ruth visited Tema General Hospital for routine antenatal care and was tested for HIV and found out she was positive. Ruth under the care of Dr. Patricia Nkansah-Asamoah received treatment that prevented transmission of her HIV to her daughter, Bernadetta. Bernadetta is now 6 years old and very healthy.
Bernadetta's father is no longer involved in Ruth's life. Ruth recently remarried and is working by selling Chinese herbs to small shops and various neighbors.
When was Ruth diagnosed with HIV?
Ruth was diagnosed with HIV in 2004 when she was pregnant with Bernadetta. She had thought she was healthy and was very excited to be expecting her first child. The diagnosis was a shock to her and her husband (now ex-husband). At first she was devastated by the diagnosis, she says "I worried that my child would die of the virus or that I would die and leave my child without a mother." She was treated at Tema General Hospital, a hospital that receives funding from (RED) financed Global Fund grants. Ruth said, "thanks to the counselors and Dr. Patricia I learned that it was possible to prevent the transmission of HIV to my child. It gave me hope and I knew I had to do everything the doctors said to prevent Bernadetta from getting HIV."
Ruth's PMTCT Story
Ruth was put on ARV treatment while pregnant with Bernadetta to help lower the viral load in her body. After birth, Bernadetta was also given ARV medication specifically formulated for infants. Bernadetta then was tested periodically until he was 1.5 years old. She is HIV negative and thriving.
Bernadetta is now 6 years-old and in school three days a week. She enjoys all subjects in school, but really loves school because she gets to see her friends. Her favorite game is Ludo a board game that she plays with Ruth.
Bernadetta would like to be a doctor when she grows up. Ruth would like for her to continue her studies and grow up to help other HIV+ people.
About Ruth and Bernadetta
Ruth is now remarried and Bernadetta is very fond of her new step-father. Ruth met her husband, Abraham Tettey at Tema General Hospital, he is also HIV+ and on ARV treatment. They live in a small home just outside of Tema with Bernadetta and their dog, Whisky.
Ruth and Abraham both work selling Chinese herbs to various shop keepers and neighbors.
Story provided by (RED).