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What Innovations Are Helping HIV+ Women in the Dominican Republic?

RH Reality Check | 03-13-2012

Fourteen years ago, Edilia Natera learned she was HIV-positive when her doctor ran blood tests during her pregnancy. What would be devastating news to any expecting mother was tantamount to a death sentence for Edilia. “There wasn’t the same knowledge [in the Dominican Republic] in those days as there is now,” Natera remembers. “I didn’t have help.”

During childbirth, Natera’s baby came in contact with her blood and was born HIV-positive. “Now, if you’re pregnant, treatment starts right away. Doctors perform a Cesarean and you don’t breastfeed. If you follow all the instructions the doctor gives you, your baby may be born healthy. Mine wasn’t so lucky.” Natera’s baby died when she was just five years old.

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